Soak up the nostalgia and take a peek inside the last remaining Blockbuster — in the world.
The bittersweet (but mostly sweet) documentary, The Last Blockbuster, which is now available to stream on Netflix, takes a look back at the once popular video rental store and why the chain was forced to close nearly 9,000 locations spanning the globe. (Watch the trailer here)
Directed by Taylor Morden and narrated by Lauren Lapkus (Orange Is the New Black, The Big Bang Theory) the documentary features interviews with actors, musicians and comedians with ties to Blockbuster like director Kevin Smith, Adam Brody, Jamie Kennedy, Ione Skye, Doug Benson, Darren Hayes, Brian Posehn, Samm Levine, Ron Funches, James Arnold Taylor and Paul Scheer. Longtime franchise owner Alan Payne, who wrote Built to Fail: The Inside Story of Blockbuster’s Inevitable Bust, also appears and provides some blistering critiques of Blockbuster’s bungled business moves.
The movie does a good job of explaining the fundamentals of the video store as a business, and how several disastrous business decisions led to the Blockbuster chain’s doom. (One of those big business blunders was not buying Netflix when it had the chance when Netflix was just a DVD-by-mail rental service) But, while the documentary touches on ’90s and early-2000s nostalgia and the physical experience of going into a Blockbuster store and picking out the VHS or DVD, the film also reveals that there is one remaining Blockbuster store left on Earth — a family-owned, community-supported franchise located in Bend, Oregon. And, yes… the last Blockbuster still open today in 2021, despite the pandemic.
Of course, the warm and ingratiating Sandi Harding (the general manager of the last blockbuster in the world) is the real shining light of this film. Harding, who has worked at the store since 2004, reflects on the store’s vibrant past and navigates the difficult task of keeping a video rental store open in the era of streaming.
You can find out more about the documentary at lastblockbustermovie.com and show a little support directly to the Bend, Oregon Blockbuster at bendblockbuster.com. Now… here’s a look inside the last Blockbuster video store in the world.