There is an irony when Netflix is streaming the documentary The Last Blockbuster on its platform. The juggernaut video chain was the apex predator in the video rental business. Its failure was a bunch of different circumstances falling upon each other till it collapsed. Most people blame Netflix for the fall of Blockbuster. Greed was the main component for the demise of the world’s favorite weekend pastime. People used to watch videos together. Saturdays were the day families went to Blockbuster to rent movies together. Today most people stream in solitude. Another family togetherness has been taken away. Videos were tangible, streaming is impersonal. You can’t own it. It comes and goes, it never stays with you for a long time. Videos you can keep as long as you are able to play them.
This nostalgic documentary reveals the real story of Blockbuster’s demise, and how one last location in Oregon keeps the spirit of a bygone era alive.
Filmmakers Taylor Morden & Zeke Kamm follow the manager of the world’s sole remaining Blockbuster in Bend, OR, Sandi Harding, 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 ‘90s, honoring simpler times and the sense of community that could once be found in Blockbuster locations across the world.