March 15, 2020
The trailer to the full-length documentary The Last Blockbuster has been released. The clip promotes the 40-minute film, which outlines the rise and fall of the world’s largest video store chain, and the last location’s struggles to stay in business in Bend, Ore.
A premiere is slated for May 8 at the Tower Theater in Bend, to be followed by an afterparty at the Blockbuster store.
Funded in 2018 by a Kickstarter crowd-source social media platform and distributed by Pop Motion Pictures, filmmaker Taylor Morden and producer Zeke Kamm sought to interview people who had worked for Blockbuster back when the chain had 9,000 stores and 80,000 employees worldwide, was synonymous with home video and seen as an insurmountable threat by an upstart by-mail DVD rental service named Netflix.
Blockbuster, which was based in Dallas, filed for bankruptcy in 2010, its remaining 1,700 stores acquired by Dish Network. The satellite TV operator later disclosed it bought the chain largely for its retail footprint and a future mobile telecom business it has just now organized through the acquisition of Boost Mobile.
When the filmmakers began their project, several operating Blockbuster stores still existed, including in Bend where they lived. When the next-to-last store (in Alaska) shuttered, the rush to get the documentary completed took on a sense of urgency.
“I remember saying, ‘so many people have worked at Blockbuster, some of them must be hilarious, interesting, famous, whatever,'” Kamm told Comicbook.com.
The trailer features commentary from indie director Kevin Smith, former Blockbuster CFO Thomas Casey, Ione Sky, Eric Close, Jamie Kennedy, Adam Brody, Samm Levine and Doug Benson, among others.
“If there’s some cats in Oregon still scratching it out with, you know, ‘be kind, rewind,’ nothing wrong with that. That’s beautiful,” Smith says on the trailer.
Details when the doc is released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc or even VHS, as some Kickstarter contributors have requested, has not been disclosed.