If you can remember the time before Netflix, finding a movie for the evening took a little more effort than a good long scroll from the comfort of your couch. A trip to your local Blockbuster was once a regular pastime, as movie fans strolled along the many shelves to make the perfect choice to take home. Nowadays, the mention of the movie rental store only brings a feeling of nostalgia for the defunct business, but the existence of Blockbuster Video stores isn't completely extinct. Despite the last two Alaska Blockbusters closing their doors a few weeks ago, one final Blockbuster stands in Bend, Oregon. Two documentary filmmakers, Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm. are currently working to tell the story of sole video store in a time where streaming is king.
The filmmakers recently started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to complete the project titled The Last Blockbuster and they have raised a little under $2,000 so far for a film they hope to release in May 2019. They also expressed their desire to release the film before the store possibly goes out of business. The Last Blockbuster will tell the story of the employees, customers and people of the Bend Blockbuster, while also highlighting the people who are traveling great distances to see this last remaining store. Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm have spent nine months interviewing people in Bend, when the franchise still had nine locations opened.
Blockbuster has been in trouble since 2010, when it was forced to file for bankruptcy as Netflix and Redbox gained huge momentum. Just 4 years ago, when the company announced that the stores would be closing for good, there were 50 existing locations. The stores quickly became a lot more than a novelty, but the property does still have somewhat of a presence. Its partnership with Dish allows for satellite subscribers to have streaming access to new releases.
For those who remember regularly utilizing Blockbuster, it might be a strange concept that this last store now acts like a museum to a ghost of entertainment past. There are some interesting discussions to be had about the disappearance of physical media, and this documentary would allow for them to be explored. How does the disappearance of Blockbuster and the rise of streaming services affect a generation, and what makes the town of Bend the last monument of the home entertainment chain?
If you're interested in seeing this documentary, donate to the Kickstarter. The filmmakers are offering downloads of the film for donations of $25 or more. A film like The Last Blockbuster will also serve as storytelling a piece of history if one day Blockbuster live only in the memories of a generation.
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