I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, but spending a couple of hours at my local Blockbuster on a Friday night was a lot of fun. Even though usually my friends I left without agreeing on anything. It’s hard to explain why. If you weren’t there it sounds weird, like if Sisyphus said he got a kick out of pushing that boulder. Flipping through all of my streaming options isn’t as exciting and communal, though. It’s certainly not as tangible or interesting. But there is one place where the old ways exist; the company isn’t completely dead. A single store remains. Now a new documentary, The Last Blockbuster, explores the popular company’s rise and fall through the lens of the remaining location that has managed to stay relevant in the digital age.
Here’s the official documentary synopsis:
“The Last Blockbuster follows Sandi Harding, the manager of the world’s last remaining Blockbuster—located in Bend, OR—as she reflects on the store’s vibrant past and navigates the difficult task of keeping a video rental store open in the era of streaming. Taking us through the history and subsequent rise and fall of the franchise, the documentary reveals the real reason why Blockbuster went out of business (hint – it wasn’t Netflix), while celebrating the unique and defining culture it created in the ’80s and ‘90s.”
This documentary, which explores an era of the moviegoing experience that will once feel as outdated as leeching, featuring interviews with comedians and celebrities. That includes Adam Brody, Ione Skye, Doug Benson, Paul Scheer, Ron Funches, and Kevin Smith.
The Special Edition DVD/BluRay combo pack ($24.99) is also currently available to pre-order for a limited time. It features an “extra bonus.”
But maybe you don’t want to buy it. Or maybe you hate digital copies. In either case there’s one place you can definitely go rent a hard copy from. If you do, please spend a couple of hours looking at every movie first. Some of us wish we still could. Even if it doesn’t make sense why.