A new trailer for The Last Blockbuster has been released. There was a time for many of us movie lovers who grew up in the 90s where Blockbuster Video was a haven. Be it our parents would take us there and let us rent a movie or two to enjoy over the weekend or what have you. While the vast majority of the retailer's stores have been closed for years, one resilient location in Bend, Oregan has the distinguished title as the last ever Blockbuster store. This documentary will look at that store, as well as the rise and fall of the video store giant.
The trailer opens up with Blockbuster's former CEO setting the table for how the company fell from grace, and it wasn't because of Netflix, even though that is the common narrative. We then see comedian Doug Benson walking around the last location in Oregon, marveling at the racks filled with James Bond movies and more. We not only get a look at the people keeping this store alive in the streaming era, but many of the famous faces who were brought in to reminisce about a bygone era, such as comedian Ron Funches and Clerks director Kevin Smith.
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had more than 9,000 stores worldwide, with more than 80,000 employees. Whether or not one wants to blame the chain's fall on the rise of streaming, which was jumpstarted by Netflix, there is certainly an extreme lack of demand for physical media, compared to the early 2000s. That much is certain.
But nostalgia is a powerful thing, and that seems to be, in part, what is keeping the legend of Blockbuster alive. Though, as we see in the trailer, the question must be asked, how much longer can this store survive in the modern age? The folks at PopMotion Pictures provided the following logline for the documentary, which reads as follows.
"The Last Blockbuster is a fun, nostalgic look back at the era of video rentals and the story of how one small town video store managed to outlast a corporate giant. The film follows the manager of the world's last remaining Blockbuster video (located in Bend, OR), Sandi Harding, as she navigates the difficult task of keeping a video rental store open in the era of Netflix."
Blockbuster Video opened its doors in 1985 and, as the home video market exploded, so did its popularity. The company expanded internationally throughout the 90s before reaching its peak in 2004. The Last Blockbuster is set to premiere on Friday, May 8 at the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon, with an afterparty to be held at the final Blockbuster Video after the screening. It's not clear when the movie will be made available for the world to see, but hopefully that information will be released following the premiere. Be sure to check out the trailer from the PopMotion Pictures Vimeo channel for yourself.