Kicker: The only location on the planet

NICK EICHER, HOST: A business in Oregon is the last of its kind in the U.S., and it’s about the last of its kind anywhere in the world.

HARDING: If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would be here still running the last one, I would have said no way.

That’s Sandy Harding, who is general manager of the Blockbuster Video store in Bend, Oregon.

Now, when a Blockbuster in Australia shuts its doors for the last time on March 31st, that will leave Harding’s store the single remaining Blockbuster on Earth.

And there a few challenges. The computer system must be rebooted using floppy disks. The dot-matrix printer broke, so employees write out membership cards by hand. And business transactions are backed up on a reel-to-reel tape that can’t be replaced because Radio Shack went out of business.

So why stick it out?

HARDING: It’s pure stubbornness for one. We didn’t want to give in. We did everything we possibly could to cut cost and to keep ourselves relevant.

But its newfound fame as the last location has been a shot in the arm to bring in customers.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) Sandi Harding, general manager of the last Blockbuster on the planet in Bend, Ore., poses for a photo inside the store on Monday, March 11, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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