How the World’s Last Blockbuster Is Surviving the Pandemic

If you thought Netflix and other streaming services had completely wiped out Blockbuster stores, you’re wrong. There is one last surviving Blockbuster store. It managed to survive Netflix, so it should be no surprise that it’s surviving the pandemic too.

The only Blockbuster store remaining in the world is in Bend, Oregon, and the store’s general manager, Sandi Harding, has been doing everything possible to keep the store up and running.

When the pandemic first started, Harding’s Blockbuster store did something new. No, they didn’t start a streaming service. They went the way of grocery stores and started offering curbside pickup. Customers could call in or go online to reserve a movie. An employee would wipe the movie’s case off with a Clorox wipe, put it in a plastic bag and hand it off to the customer right at his or her car.

Now, after briefly closing the doors to get the store ready for social distancing, the last Blockbuster location is now allowing customers inside the store once again.

Harding social distances her way through stores like Target and Walmart to keep her store stocked with the latest movie titles. She only buys 5 or 10 of each movie from each location so she doesn’t wipe out their inventory. She’s conscious of leaving some movies for other shoppers.

You have to wonder if Harding thinks her store will manage to keep surviving. She told VICE, “…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.”