Ironically, The Last Blockbuster is now available on Netflix. It’s ironic because, while Netflix didn’t eliminate video shops outright, it was one of the final nails in its plastic coffin. The video goes to great efforts to illustrate that Blockbuster’s ultimate downfall was caused by the financial catastrophe of 2008. Streaming services and video on demand, on the other hand, were undeniably damaging to the old arrangement.
The film begins by detailing the company’s history. It tracks the rise and fall of the video rental industry, providing insight into the transition from small businesses to the Blockbuster takeover, as well as the corporate shops vs franchisees.
The world’s last Blockbuster, in Bend, Oregon, is surviving the epidemic by appealing to nostalgia for the renowned video store brand, as well as allowing Airbnb sleepovers and selling products acquired from local sellers.
Plus, at a time when customers are tired of swiping through Netflix and Hulu and have seen everything on Amazon Prime owing to the pandemic’s ongoing theatre closures and production halts, Blockbuster provides real entertainment that requires people to leave their homes.
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What’s There in The Last Blockbuster
Harding stars in the film, which has risen to No. 4 in the United States since its release on Netflix on March 15. When it became the final outpost on Earth, the Blockbuster video rental business in Bend was already well-known. Visitors came from all around the United States, as well as Taiwan and London. “It’s beneficial to the store.” It’s excellent for the neighbourhood,” said Harding, who has been approached by admirers who want to take her photo at the grocery store. “And as long as it doesn’t interfere with what we do every day, I can learn to live with my newfound popularity.”
When Taylor Morden and Zeke Kamm, two Bend filmmakers, started filming the documentary in 2017, they had no clue if the business would stay open. People have told Morden that Harding is a national treasure and that the business must be kept open at all costs. He’s relieved to learn that the film’s popularity on Netflix may be keeping the business open. “To be able to play a tiny role in keeping the store operating is incredible,” Morden remarked.
“Only a small percentage of documentaries truly achieve their story’s purpose.” There are no plans to shutter the Bend Blockbuster. It has a long-term leasing arrangement, and the property has been leased by the local owners, Ken and Debbie Tisher, since 1992. It emphasises how revenue sharing has transformed the video industry. Blockbuster would sell movies to retailers at the cheapest prices possible, then take a cut of the rental charge. It cut the store owner’s expenditures from $100 per movie to a few dollars, allowing several copies to be purchased. Blockbuster became a monopoly because tiny video retailers were unable to compete.
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What’s The History of The Last Blockbuster?
Ken and Debbie Tisher launched the Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, in 1992 as the second branch of Pacific Video, a small video rental store company in Oregon. Tisher turned it into a Blockbuster franchise store in 2000. Since 2004, Sandi Harding has served as the general manager.
By early 2014, Blockbuster LLC had shuttered all of its corporate-owned stores, leaving the Bend branch as one of 50 franchise locations. It became the final extant Blockbuster in the United States in July 2018, and the last in the globe in March 2019. The Blockbuster trademark is owned by Dish Network, which no longer issues new franchises with the Blockbuster brand, cementing the Bend location’s reputation as the final Blockbuster.
Since being the final Blockbuster, the area has become a renowned tourist destination. Ken Tisher, the business’s owner, continues to licence the Blockbuster trademark from Dish Network on an annual basis, allowing the store to sell items with the brand. The business has roughly 1,200 titles in stock and an estimated 4,000 subscribers who rent movies on a monthly basis.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, it continued to function without laying off employees. In September 2020, the store offered Airbnb sleepovers.10 Barrel, a local brewery, has launched The Last Blockbuster, a black ale. In May 2019, The Ellen DeGeneres Show paid a visit to the shop for a segment. The Last Blockbuster, a documentary film set to be released in 2020, is about the shop.
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The film also discloses that Blockbuster had the chance to purchase Netflix years ago, when it was merely a mail-order DVD service and hadn’t yet evolved into the dominating streaming service it is today. According to the documentary and prior press reports, the video empire’s executives perceived Netflix as a niche industry with limited promise and rejected to purchase it.
However, the film taps into the nostalgia felt by people of a particular age as the world speeds up and human contacts become less common, according to the producers. Many of the people viewing it remember working at Blockbuster stores or renting from them frequently when they were younger.