Blockbuster Video was recently back in the news after its last remaining outpost in Bend, Oregon began offering movie lovers a chance to spend the night on an air mattress or pull-out couch, surrounded by rows and rows of new releases. The cost was the same as a movie rental — $4 (not accounting for those exorbitant late fees!). The AirBnB promotion went viral, riding a crest of social media interest both from Twitter-users who fondly remember spending weekends picking out movies at their local Blockbuster, as well as from Gen Z members for whom the idea of a “video” is as relevant as a Spanish galleon.
Now, 1091 Pictures has acquired worldwide digital and broadcast rights to “The Last Blockbuster,” the story of how one small town video store managed to survive the decline and fall of its corporate parent. The film follows Sandi Harding, the manager of the Oregon-based Blockbuster that somehow outlasted the chain’s bankruptcy, as well as the rise of Netflix. She reflects on the store’s heyday and the challenge of keeping a movie rental store open in the era of streaming.
The feature documentary will be available to purchase or rent on-demand on Dec. 15. It features interviews with comedians and celebrities such as Adam Brody (“The O.C.”), Ione Skye (“Say Anything”), Doug Benson (“Getting Doug with High”), Paul Scheer (“Veep”) and director Kevin Smith (“Clerks”, with narration by Lauren Lapkus (“The Wrong Missy”). “The Last Blockbuster” was directed by Taylor Morden and written and produced by Zeke Kamm.
The movie also provides a corporate lesson, outlining why Blockbuster went out of business, and explaining the role it played in shaping popular culture in the 1990s.
“’The Last Blockbuster’ brings the world together over our shared memory of Friday night pizza and renting movies,” Morden and Kamm said in a statement. “For us the perfect next step was getting together with 1091 Pictures to release it just in time for the holidays.”
Morden’s previous works include “Pick It Up! Ska in the ‘90s.” Kamm has more than 20 years of experience in film and television writing, with credits that include “The Powerpuff Girls” and “The Weird Al Show.” 1091 Pictures has previously released “Life Animated,” “Cartel Land,” and “Halston.”
“We are thrilled to work with Taylor and Zeke on a film that not only allows viewers to relive the nostalgic experience of renting a movie at Blockbuster, but also entertains and delights at every beat,” said Carly Reicho, director of film distribution at 1091 Pictures.