With much of the world in lockdown, consuming content and programming has never been more popular. Netflix has reported record subscriber trends and streaming platforms across the board are seeing a boost from people being confined to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Physical media consumption has also apparently seen an increase in business as the country's last remaining Blockbuster remains open through the lockdown, servicing people in all their movie needs.
As the store's general manager tells Inside Edition, they've been through too much as a store to give up now. "We've faced many challenges over the year and we've managed to muddle through and we will this one too," general manager Sandi Harding tells the show.
The store — famously located in Bend, Oregon — has taken great strides in employee and customer safety while remaining open to do whatever they can to squash the potential spreading of the novel coronavirus. All aisles within the store have been converted to one-way flows, allowing those searching for their next movie to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Not only that, but the store is also doing curbside pickup, a first-of-its-kind for any Blockbuster stores.
"Everyone is wearing gloves," Harding adds. "We have masks now for the employees that we had to wait for that we just got in this week. We have one way in, one way out. Max of 10 people in the store."
On top of everything else, each video and its case gets wiped down twice — once upon leaving the store and another time while being checked back in.
Due to the rise of streaming video and digital content, Blockbuster was forced into bankruptcy in 2010. At the time, Dish Network purchased the companies assets in an effort to transform the company into a direct mail-order competitor to Netflix, though the plan eventually fizzled. All corporate-owned stores eventually closed up shop by 2014.
The Last Blockbuster, as the Bend location is known by, is a privately owned storefront that is the only business using the Blockbuster brand in the world.