In just six months, it seems the world has gone to hell in a Purell-filled handbasket. But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad out there. As the summer of 2020 winds down, Airbnb is planning a once-in-a-lifetime sleepover party at one of the most iconic retail chains of all time. Dust off your microwave-sized boombox and BeDazzled denim jorts, it’s time to get nostalgic.
Believe it or not, there is still one Blockbuster video store left on the planet — seriously. It’s there, in Bend, Oregon, that Airbnb is hosting another one-of-a-kind overnight stay. Next month, three lucky guests will each score a one-night sleepover inside the retail relic for just $4. That’s a penny more than the rental cost of a New Release movie. The original store setup — rows of ‘90s-era VHS movies, classic video games, buttery theater popcorn, and the best junk food — will be free for the taking. The store is also carving out a special lounge area with floor pillows, bean bag chairs, an air mattress, and a pull-out sofa so guests can make themselves at home. Plus: a clunky, old-school, big-screen TV. Guests can stay up all night watching John Hughes flicks, playing OG Nintendo, or eating themselves into a Nerds-fueled sugar coma — their call. It’s like twenty adolescent Christmases packed into one night. In the morning, just remember to do the right thing: “Be kind, rewind.”
Because we are in the midst of a pandemic, manager Sandi Harding is quick to point out that Blockbuster is still taking guest safety seriously. The store is following Airbnb’s new Enhanced Cleaning Protocol. That means providing plenty of face masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer. Although having the store entirely to themselves for the night should make social distancing pretty easy.
Airbnb has proven to be the place for booking one-of-a-kind overnights. From treehouses and “spaceships” to bourbon still-houses and shipping container cabins in the woods, adventurous travelers can find just about any niche lodging imaginable. The company is also known for offering truly unique and legendary experiences. In the last few years, that has included overnighting at the Louvre, a night at the Lego House in Denmark, and even sending amateur scientists on a month-long research expedition to Antarctica. So, a kitschy sleepover at one of the most iconic ‘90s retail chains seems fitting.
Reservations open at 1 p.m. (PT) on Monday, August 17. Each guest, along with three friends, will have the option to choose a one-night stay on September 18, 19, or 20. With only three nights available, it’s guaranteed to sell out immediately. For anyone who misses out, the Bend Blockbuster will keep the “living room” set up for a limited time after the last Airbnb guests check out.