Oregon is famously the home of the world's last remaining Blockbuster. It is now also home to the first Lockbuster.
No, it's not an elaborate Nathan Fielder prank. The storefront with the suspiciously familiar signage seen in the above photo is an actual, functional video store, but with a post-millennial twist: It is also an escape room.
In truth, the official name of the business located at 4122 NE Broadway is In Search of an Exit. Owner Patrick Rafferty has occupied the building since 2017, which he's used to as a setting for immersive, interactive puzzle games. But until recently, he hasn't had much to do, for obvious reasons. So he decided to indulge an idea kicking around in his head for years and convert the lobby into a relic from the 1980s.
"It's not not a video store," he says. "It's not the primary business, but as far as people walking by, it is the primary business."
The shelves are stocked with almost 1,000 honest-to-God VHS tapes, all from Rafferty's personal collection—mostly sci-fi (In Search of an Exit is a Twilight Zone reference), with a curious amount of musicals and golf videos, and nothing that was made after 1990.
He officially opened as a video store last week, while also reopening as an escape room. (To be clear, the only link between the current game he's running in the backroom—set in a mobster-run casino—is an '80s aesthetic. There is an escape room in South Dakota named Lockbuster that uses the video store chain as part of the narrative, but Rafferty says it has no connection to what he's doing.) But if you just happen to walk in off the street, Rafferty won't let on what lies behind the doors with the Employees Only signs.
"I'm still trying to keep the mystique," he says. "Is this a good business decision? No, probably not. But I'm trying it."
Besides, In Search of an Exit doesn't accept walk-ins—groups can make reservations on the website. But if you're feeling nostalgic, Lockbuster is open noon-8 pm Monday.
And in case you don't have the proper viewing equipment in your house, don't worry—Rafferty also rents VCRs.