BEND, Ore. — Walking into the last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon is stepping into an aura of cinematic nostalgia.
Lining the walls are the vibrant blue and sunny yellow color schemes complete with candy and DVD rentals to refresh the memory of what it was like to scan the sea of titles before one finally came home with a movie and Milk Duds in hand.
What used to be a $5 billion company with more than 9,000 stores worldwide at its peak 17 years ago has been reduced to a single shop in central Oregon saved by a loyal clientele and the lure of tourism. Its grave may also be a preview of the movie industry’s reach outside streaming.
While the rest of the company has become nothing but a memory to millennials and folklore to Gen Zers, the final store in Bend has capitalized on its identity as an operating relic of a bygone era. The shop