By Brad Williams ‘19
Amid the mountains of Oregon, there toils a tragic hero. The last of a crumbling dynasty, it forges on, knowing its demise is inevitable. That doomed survivor is the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.
Since Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010—and eventually became defunct in 2013—the former video rental titan has split into a handful of independent stores across the country. Over time, most of these stores have closed, but in Bend, Oregon, one last store clings to life under the management of Ms. Sandi Harding.
Despite of how internet streaming has filled the niche physical DVDs once occupied, the store survives as a relic of the 90s, even sporting the quintessential, blue-screened computers of the era.
Although the store serves little practical function, it has become a local curiosity. The s
tore has also received international attention, drawing visitors from locales as far-flung as London and Taiwan.
Thanks to this steady stream of customers, the store’s owner remains hopeful for its future.
Ms. Harding believes that as long as the store gets support from its community, it will endure. She knows it can’t last forever, but she will keep the Blockbuster open for as long as she can manage.