In 2004, Blockbuster Video was at its peak. There were 9,000 stores sprinkled throughout the United States. The chain was an iconic fixture that people would navigate to when they wanted a movie night at home. Flash forward 14 years later, only one store will remain. A Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, is the last store standing after two stores located in Alaska closed this past Sunday.
In the late 2000’s, unable to compete with Netflix, Redbox, and the digital age, Blockbuster began to shutter its stores. Dish Network bought the chain in 2011 and began to dismantle the remaining stores. The store in Bend, Oregon, pays a licensing fee to Dish Network in order to continue using the name.
General Manager Sandi Harding said that the owners, Ken and Debbie Tisher, are local owners with connections to the community. It’s the main reason that the store has flourished and survived. The store still looks like the classic stores from the early days and still uses IBM computers with floppy disks from the 1990’s! “No one can hack these computers,” Harding said. Interesting stuff from a time gone by.