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2019-12-07 00:45:48


  BEND, Ore. — Andres Garcia Velasco was visibly shaking as he approached the familiar blue-and-yellow Blockbuster sign. After traveling 18 hours from Spain to central Oregon, he was exhausted. He was also emotional.

  Mr. Velasco, an airline customer service agent, worked at the video rental chain for nearly a decade in Madrid, stocking VHS tapes and gaining management skills while pursuing a business administration degree. The job, he said, “made me the person that I am right now.”

  When he heard that the Blockbuster store in Bend would soon be the last one standing, he had to see it.

  “When I parked the car, I said, ‘O.K., let’s find out if I can go in without crying,’” he said. Once inside, he called his former Blockbuster boss. She started to sob.

  After Blockbuster declared bankruptcy in 2010, Dish Network bought its assets. Franchisees that stayed open, like Ken and Debbie Tisher, the owners of the Bend store, paid a licensing fee to do so. Dish now has only one licensee outside the United States, in Brazil, and it has no stores. (The owner of a store in Florence, Italy, run under the Blockbuster name with no ties to Dish or to the original Blockbuster, said he had struck a deal with a now-defunct Blockbuster affiliate to use the brand.)

  The Bend store, three hours from Portland, was already attracting tourists last summer, when it became the last Blockbuster in America. As it prepares to become the last true Blockbuster in the world on Sunday — when the only other one, in Australia, closes — even more selfie-snapping pilgrims have arrived.

  One of them, Steven Mercadante, drove his 2013 Kia Soul nearly 1,000 miles from Southern California through pelting rain to get to Bend.

  “I just wanted to relive my childhood, said Mr. Mercadante, 32, a Walmart cashier who grew up in a military family that moved frequently. Blockbuster, like strawberry milk and Kraft macaroni and cheese, was a constant and a comfort for him.

  “I wanted to see if it looked the same,” he said.

  Even to people who have never visited, the Blockbuster in Bend feels familiar. When the computer system freezes, employees reach for a floppy disk. The 14,000 movies in stock are arranged alphabetically, by category: A boyish Brad Pitt in “Cool World” (1992) sits next to Elijah Wood in “Cooties” (2014). There are Red Vines. There are rom-coms.

  Jason McCoy, an aspiring actor who said he was in Bend for helicopter-pilot training, sighed deeply when asked what he thought about modern streaming services.

  “Most sites don’t have the types of movies I like, that are 25, 30 years old,” said Mr. McCoy, 28, who was dressed like a character from the Netflix show “Stranger Things.” “There was a lot more passion in films, as opposed to today, where everything is prefabricated, a reboot a rehash.”

  His rentals: “Friday the 13th,” “Police Academy,” “The Lost Boys” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

  More recent releases like “Green Book” and “The Favourite” line the perimeter of the store, with older titles racked toward the middle. In their midst is a display of costumes once auctioned off by the actor Russell Crowe. The HBO host John Oliver bought them as a stunt and donated them to a Blockbuster store in Alaska. They wound up in Bend in September.

  Every day, people still call asking for VHS tapes (unavailable since 2004). DVD rentals, most due back in a week, cost from 99 cents to .99 each.

  David Brehm, a local building inspector, remembers when Bend was just a mill town with fewer than 20,000 residents. Now, the population is closer to 100,000.

  Over the years, Mr. Brehm, 61, has chatted with Blockbuster workers during his weekly visits about their dating lives, then their marriages and, eventually, their children. Rather than crowdsourcing movie recommendations from Facebook or Twitter, he asks store employees what they think he should watch.

  “This is my social media,” he said.

  Butch Roberts, who owns several sports facilities in the area, has been showing up at the Blockbuster for so long — nearly every week for 27 years — that he has memorized the store’s phone number.

  Sometimes, and only when he has to, he watches Netflix.

  “I’d rather come here,” Mr. Roberts said, “but there are times when they’re closed.”

  Bend also has a used record store, a shop that specializes in retro video games and an arcade with Neo Geo and Street Fighter.

  The town has a rustic appeal, but it has an upscale one, too: Across the street from the Birkenstock of Bend, there is a store that sells handcrafted 21-inch spalted maple bowls for 0.

  Bend is currently on the upswing in one of its many boom-bust cycles. According to government data, it is one of the fastest-growing towns in the country. Housing prices are surging after being hobbled by the financial crisis. Tourism, manufacturing, brewing and aviation are among its biggest industries.

  Bex Hunter, 25, and Ben Harris, 26, moved to Bend from Jackson, Wyo., last year, paying 5 a month for a 365-square-foot studio. In a single day, they can climb Smith Rock, snowshoe up Tumalo Mountain and stop at Blockbuster to rent movies like “The Disaster Artist.”

  Ms. Hunter, an assistant manager at Deschutes Brewery, said she found it easier to browse for movies there than on Netflix, which she compared to a dating app.

  “You’re on it for hours,” she said. “It’s almost overwhelming.”


  You can get a “Last Blockbuster” sticker at the Bend store for . Cups go for . Beanies, knit by Sandi Harding, the store’s general manager, cost .

  Ms. Harding said she opened accounts for dozens of new customers each week. The commotion over the store, she said, had turned operating it into a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants situation.”

  Many employees are in their first jobs. Their names and heights are marked on the door of a back office. Pictures of their families clutter Ms. Harding’s desk.

  Kaitlyn Willhoite, 25, worked at the chain for six years, starting right after high school, when most of her peers were already eyeball deep in Netflix and YouTube.

  “It became a joke with my friends that I worked at Blockbuster,” she said.

  Her boyfriend proposed to her one night 10 minutes after she closed the store. Later, when she was pregnant, she thought more than once that her son, Liam, would be born there. Now, she brings him in for movies like “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse.”

  He likes the theme song, she said.

  Randy Honaker, a sound engineer who has worked with directors like Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola, is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each year, during awards season, he gets dozens of free DVDs to screen.

  But when he wants something that his sons, 10 and 13, will enjoy — like “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — he heads for Blockbuster.

  Mr. Honaker, 61, moved to Bend from California 22 years ago. He said the town had changed “drastically” in recent years, becoming “a lot more yuppie.”

  “I used to know everyone in town,” he said. “Now, I know nobody.”

  The Blockbuster has evolved into something more than just a place to rent videos, hosting stand-up comedy sessions and movie-trivia gatherings. Recently, a morning dance party drew more than 100 people, including a man in a bear suit.

  That’s not a draw for Marta Rotz.

  Ms. Rotz’s family has lived in Bend off and on since 1947. Her husband’s family, she said, had been around the area since it was settled in the late 1800s.

  The couple live in a motor home, which they have taken to 46 states. They typically visit Bend for the holidays, but had made a rare stop in March to have their vehicle repaired.

  Settling in for the wait, Ms. Rotz, 72, rented several films, including “Proud Mary” and “Woman Walks Ahead” — movies with strong women, she said. She said she liked “to sit and watch movies where we can pause, without worrying about having to catch up.”

  How does she feel, seeing the Blockbuster in her hometown flooded with tourists?

  “I don’t make anything of it — it’s here, that’s it,” she said. “Everything changes. You just have to roll with it.”

  Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting from Rome, and Gaia Tripoli from London.



  天下彩开奖结果一斤播**【窟】【内】【的】【山】【道】【四】【通】【八】【达】,【而】【刻】【录】【着】【玄】【武】【真】【功】【的】【壁】【画】【则】【就】【在】【其】【中】【一】【个】【山】【洞】【的】【洞】【口】。【要】【说】【这】【门】【武】【功】【有】【多】【么】【的】【出】【神】【入】【化】,【令】【燕】【龙】【渊】【心】【驰】【神】【往】【倒】【也】【不】【见】【的】。 【只】【是】【能】【够】【增】【加】【功】【力】【兼】【疗】【伤】【圣】【药】【的】【血】【菩】【提】【是】【从】【火】【麒】【麟】【流】【血】【之】【地】【生】【长】【出】【来】【的】,【想】【要】【得】【到】【它】【就】【需】【要】【等】【它】【慢】【慢】【长】【好】。【这】【段】【时】【间】【反】【正】【无】【事】【可】【做】,【不】【如】【碰】【碰】【运】【气】。 【且】【不】【提】

  【可】【能】【是】【平】【常】【有】【在】【定】【期】【锻】【炼】【和】【瑜】【伽】【的】【关】【系】,【苏】【若】【这】【个】【孕】【妇】【强】【壮】【的】【不】【得】【了】。 【前】【三】【个】【月】【完】【全】【没】【有】【任】【何】【感】【觉】,【身】【边】【其】【他】【孕】【妇】【前】【三】【个】【月】【情】【况】【都】【不】【稳】【定】,【不】【是】【吐】【就】【是】【出】【血】,【很】【多】【甚】【至】【要】【一】【天】24【小】【时】【躺】【在】【床】【上】【保】【胎】。 【到】【她】【这】【里】【完】【全】【没】【有】【这】【种】【问】【题】,【每】【次】【检】【查】【都】【宝】【宝】【都】【非】【常】【好】。 【为】【此】【顾】【让】【去】【身】【边】【朋】【友】【和】【网】【上】【做】【来】【的】【准】【备】【工】【作】【完】【全】【派】

  【诸】【天】【学】【院】【后】【山】! 【云】【琛】【看】【着】【虚】【空】【中】【呈】【现】【出】【来】【的】【轮】【回】【画】【面】。 【看】【着】【摔】【死】【在】【悬】【崖】【下】【的】【独】【孤】【求】【败】,【一】【时】【间】【陷】【入】【了】【无】【言】【之】【中】。 【独】【孤】【求】【败】【成】【功】【了】【也】【失】【败】【了】。 【生】【死】【之】【间】【有】【大】【恐】【怖】,【亦】【有】【大】【机】【缘】。 【在】【生】【与】【死】【的】【刹】【那】【之】【间】,【独】【孤】【求】【败】【从】【轮】【回】【中】【找】【到】【了】【自】【我】,【在】【生】【死】【之】【间】【唤】【醒】【了】【深】【藏】【在】【灵】【魂】【之】【中】【的】【剑】【心】。 【从】【而】【突】【破】【了】【第】

  “【区】【区】【一】【个】【明】【家】,【居】【然】【敢】【对】【你】【们】【动】【手】,【我】【是】【不】【会】【放】【过】【他】【们】【的】!” 【云】【路】【山】【看】【向】【了】【坐】【在】【自】【己】【右】【手】【边】【的】【老】【者】。 “【大】【长】【老】,【这】【件】【事】【就】【麻】【烦】【您】【亲】【自】【跑】【一】【趟】,【给】【他】【们】【点】【颜】【色】【看】【看】【吧】。” 【云】【家】【大】【长】【老】【已】【经】【到】【了】【真】【元】【境】,【自】【身】【的】【实】【力】,【在】【整】【个】【青】【山】【域】【中】,【都】【能】【排】【进】【前】【十】,【想】【要】【灭】【掉】【明】【家】,【是】【没】【有】【任】【何】【难】【度】【的】。 【而】【云】【路】【山】【之】

  “【守】【护】【雕】【像】【的】【制】【造】【科】【技】!” 【李】【汉】【强】【想】【起】【了】【【大】【议】【长】【坎】【尔】【森】【的】【守】【护】【雕】【像】】【和】【【传】【奇】【战】【士】【萨】【尔】【贡】【的】【守】【护】【雕】【像】】,【心】【中】【若】【有】【所】【悟】。 “【想】【来】【大】【议】【长】【坎】【尔】【森】【和】【传】【奇】【战】【士】【萨】【尔】【贡】【是】【将】【意】【念】【投】【射】【到】【了】【守】【护】【雕】【像】【上】,【这】【不】【就】【是】【远】【程】【监】【控】【么】?【守】【护】【雕】【像】【还】【能】【说】【话】,【能】【放】【技】【能】,【只】【是】【不】【能】【移】【动】【而】【已】,【这】【个】【有】【意】【思】【啊】!【而】【且】【全】【职】【业】【通】【用】,天下彩开奖结果一斤播【虽】【然】【对】【林】【唐】【有】【些】【许】【不】【服】【气】,【但】【在】【绝】【对】【的】【实】【力】【面】【前】,【没】【有】【人】【真】【的】【敢】【反】【抗】。 【对】【于】【这】【群】【人】【类】【中】【的】【读】【书】【人】【而】【言】,【真】【实】【的】【世】【界】【就】【像】【一】【只】【史】【前】【巨】【兽】,【他】【们】【不】【过】【是】【巨】【兽】【阴】【影】【下】,【瑟】【瑟】【发】【抖】【抱】【团】【取】【暖】【的】【小】【绵】【羊】【而】【已】。 【林】【唐】【没】【有】【多】【管】【这】【群】【人】,【王】【良】【则】【劝】【说】【了】【一】【番】。【会】【议】【室】【的】【人】【全】【都】【散】【去】,【各】【自】【收】【拾】,【准】【备】【第】【二】【天】【离】【开】【建】【康】【城】。 【林】

  【解】【决】【掉】【毕】【山】【和】【闻】【沧】,【王】【溟】【示】【意】【终】【五】【等】【人】【去】【看】【一】【下】【邱】【义】【和】【小】【华】【彤】【的】【情】【况】,【自】【己】【则】【是】【稍】【微】【感】【应】【了】【一】【下】,【然】【后】【深】【吸】【一】【口】【气】,【腾】【空】【而】【起】,【直】【入】【青】【云】!【圣】【山】【范】【围】【之】【内】,【天】【地】【元】【气】,【刹】【那】【间】【如】【臂】【指】【使】! “【出】【来】!”【立】【于】【云】【巅】【之】【上】【的】【王】【溟】,【表】【情】【极】【为】【肃】【穆】,【对】【着】【空】【荡】【荡】【的】【天】【空】【大】【喝】【道】。 【从】【一】【开】【始】,【他】【就】【感】【觉】【有】【什】【么】【东】【西】【在】【暗】【中】【盯】

  【乔】【歆】【暖】【敷】【着】【面】【膜】【深】【深】【看】【了】【他】【一】【眼】,【远】【处】【看】【不】【出】【面】【部】【表】【情】,【但】【宫】【守】【靠】【的】【近】,【很】【明】【显】【的】【接】【收】【到】【了】【一】【记】【白】【眼】,【乔】【歆】【暖】【羸】【弱】【的】【说】,“【不】【行】,【守】【宫】【砂】【们】【会】【集】【体】【哭】【出】【一】【条】【江】【的】,【你】【是】【大】【家】【的】。” 【吃】【瓜】【摄】【影】【师】【们】:【神】【一】【样】【的】【是】【大】【家】【的】。 【宫】【守】【小】【奶】【狗】【般】【的】【嘟】【嘴】,【无】【所】【谓】【乔】【歆】【暖】【的】【回】【复】,【伸】【着】【脑】【袋】【继】【续】【往】【她】【手】【机】【屏】【幕】【上】【凑】,【乔】【歆】【暖】【也】

  【一】【顿】【争】【吵】【后】【莉】【莉】【丝】【心】【里】【还】【有】【怨】【气】,【只】【是】【碍】【于】【对】【方】【地】【位】【更】【高】【所】【以】【没】【敢】【在】【面】【前】【发】【脾】【气】,【更】【何】【况】【这】【次】【还】【有】【一】【位】【来】【学】【院】【参】【观】【的】【人】,【也】【不】【好】【在】【客】【人】【面】【前】【发】【脾】【气】【吧】。 【但】【就】【是】【心】【里】【那】【股】【怨】【气】【发】【不】【出】【来】…… 【难】【受】! 【这】【气】【人】【的】【学】【院】【自】【己】【最】【不】【想】【来】【了】,【要】【不】【是】【自】【己】【家】【里】【硬】【是】【逼】【着】【自】【己】【过】【来】【才】【不】【想】【来】【这】【种】【地】【方】,【又】【没】【有】【什】【么】【意】【思】【还】【天】

  【沈】【知】【鱼】【又】【跟】【许】【凉】【文】【介】【绍】【宁】【皓】【东】,“【他】【是】【我】【男】【朋】【友】,【宁】【皓】【东】。” 【正】【在】【炸】【毛】【暴】【躁】【边】【缘】【的】【大】【魔】【王】【听】【到】【这】【话】,【心】【情】【畅】【快】【了】。 【她】【有】【男】【朋】【友】【了】…… 【许】【凉】【文】【有】【些】【绝】【望】,【他】【对】【上】【沈】【知】【鱼】【的】【视】【线】,【沈】【知】【鱼】【温】【和】【的】【朝】【他】【笑】,“【你】【是】【第】【一】【个】【知】【道】【的】【人】,【要】【替】【我】【保】【密】【噢】。” 【许】【凉】【文】【脑】【袋】【轰】【轰】【发】【响】,【僵】【硬】【地】【点】【头】。 【过】【了】【几】【秒】,【他】


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