There Is Now Only One Remaining Blockbuster in America

One of many closed Blockbuster storefronts
One of many closed Blockbuster storefronts | © Chris Green / Shutterstock

The Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon is the last reminder of pre-streaming America.

Bend is known for its beer and its natural beauty. Now, the Central Oregon hub can also add “home of the last remaining Blockbuster in the country” to its list of accolades.

On July 16, the other two U.S. locales—both in Alaska—finally closed their doors. The stores’ Managers, Kelli Vey and Kevin Daymude, broke the news via Facebook. “It is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers,” the post reads. “We have thought of you as family for the past 28 years.” Both Vey and Daymude have been with the company since 1991.
The ’90s were the video rental stores’ heyday. Anyone who grew up in that era most likely has fond memories of going to Blockbuster with their parents and picking out a movie (plus popcorn and candy, if they were lucky), but with the rise of the Internet and subsequent streaming platforms, those brick-and-mortar stores became antiquated fast.

In 2004, there were still over 9,000 Blockbusters worldwide. In 2o1o, the company filed for bankruptcy and by 2013, Blockbuster was defunct and all the corporate-owned stores shuttered their windows. However, franchised stores were able to license the brand name and run independently.

For several years, the privately owned stores were able to keep the lights on in rural areas with limited internet access. A year ago, there were 10 U.S. locations still holding on: one in Texas, three in Oregon, and six in Alaska.

In December of 2017, the Sandy, Oregon location closed down and the rest shortly followed. The Edinburg, Texas location closed in January, and the Redmond, Oregon location closed a month later. Four of Alaska’s Blockbusters were closed by May, with the last two survivors admitting defeat in July. Now, the Bend location is the last one standing.

“It’s exciting, it’s sad and a little scary,” the store’s general manager Sandi Harding told Willamette Week about being the last Blockbuster in the country. “It just is what it is. We’re excited to still be here, and hope that we last out a little longer.”

She said the store’s been kept alive by tourists astonished to see the relic still open, people hunting for a physical movie to buy, and locals who are regulars.

“The social interaction you get—face-to-face talking to people, not having your nose in your phones,” Harding explained to NBC News. “I think that’s what you find coming into a Blockbuster store.”

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.