We wake from our nightmares every morning to the glow of our smartphones, which promptly tell us how many people are dead, how many are unemployed, and how none of this will ever end. Hope is in short supply, so, please, cling to the fact that the world’s last Blockbuster is not only still open, but determined to ride this out.
The Bend, Oregon outpost’s perseverance is chronicled in both this Vice piece and an Inside Edition report, both of which chronicle the many pivots the store’s had to make to stay afloat. After realizing that people weren’t going to social distance on their own, it moved to curbside service, ensuring that every DVD or Blu-ray was wiped down by masked/gloved workers and put in Ziplock bags before being delivered to cars. That approach dramatically impacted business, however, as the raison d’etre of the rental store in the streaming age is one’s ability to browse the aisles. Now, up to 10 people at a time can enter the store, which remains stocked to the gills with cleaning products.
“I had a customer come in and she said, ‘I am so grateful that you reopened, because I couldn’t flip through Netflix one more time,’” general manager Sandi Harding told Vice.
“The longer it goes on, the more stress there is for everyone, and the more I’m like ‘Oh gosh, can we really sustain this?” she continued. “But we’re still making plans and pushing forward and we’re the last one for a reason. We don’t go down without a fight. So we’re going to keep fighting for a while.”
We hope they can ride it out, lest we’re all forced to build our own Blockbusters in our basements like this guy.
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