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Last Blockbuster store lists ’90s sleepover’ on Airbnb

These photos show the interior of the last remaining Blockbuster store, in Bend, Oregon. -AFP photos

Is 2020 proving a bit too much? The last Blockbuster store on the planet is offering guests a chance to roll back the clock to simpler times with a ’90s themed sleepover, it was announced Tuesday. An Airbnb listing for the holdout video rental shop in the northwestern US state of Oregon promises to convert the store into a makeshift living room “with a pull-out couch, bean bags and pillows for you to cozy up with ‘new releases’ from the ’90s.”

For just $4 a night, four spaces will be available over three nights in September. “When you call dibs on this stay, you’re booking a night back in the 90s, but this time you won’t have to beg your parents to rent the latest horror flick-we’ll give you the keys to the entire store!” it promised.

The store in Bend, Oregon is the last of a chain that boasted more than 9,000 worldwide outlets at its peak in the early 2000s. Blockbuster suffered a precipitous decline with the advent of streaming platforms such as Netflix. But residents of Bend have remained loyal to its time-honored process of browsing for physical DVDs and VHS tapes before returning them through a slot days later.

It has also become a popular tourist destination. In recent years, an endless stream of nostalgic fans have posed for selfies outside, and popped in to buy kitsch confectionary and view retro movie memorabilia including Russell Crowe’s jacket from “Les Miserables.”

But with the pandemic stifling tourism, “we’ve been missing the regular visits from friends, neighbors and tourists from around the world,” the listing said. The advert promises to sanitize the store before each set of guests arrive, and provide face coverings, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer as well as free snacks and video games. “And remember, the store is all yours for the night!” it says. “So let loose, blast the boombox and wear your favorite ’90s denim so that you feel right at home in another era.”-AFP

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