For younger movie and TV fans, Netflix’s Blockbuster probably feels a little old-fashioned. The workplace sitcom is set in the very last Blockbuster video store in the world.
"What’s a Blockbuster video store," I hear you ask. Well, before streamers took over the media landscape, people would actually have to travel to a rental store like Blockbuster, look through the thousands of physical copies of movies and TV shows they possessed before then selecting which ones to take home and watch.
Starring Randall Park (Always Be My Maybe) and Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Netflix’s Blockbuster explores why stores like Blockbuster, and the human connection they provide to its customers, are so important to local communities, while also showing just how hard it is for small businesses to succeed; plus a little will-they-won’t-they between Park and Fumero’s characters.
The fact that Netflix’s Blockbuster is actually based on the real last remaining Blockbuster video story makes the show all the more heart-warming.
The last Blockbuster has already garnered a cult status amongst old school movie fans. Some have even traveled hours and days just so they can relive how they used to pick and watch movies. The release of Blockbuster onto Netflix is almost certainly going to make the store even more popular.
Which is why we thought it’d be wise to provide people with its exact location and answer the question.
Where is the last Blockbuster?
The last Blockbuster is located in the city of Bend, Ore. If you’re looking for its exact location, you’ll find it at 211 NE Revere Avenue. Those of you contemplating a road-trip to visit the store should know that Bend is located three hours and 15 minutes south-east of Portland, is two hours and 30 minutes east of Eugene and approximately six hours and 10 minutes south of Seattle.
In 1992, the building was initially opened as a Pacific Video rental store, before becoming part of the Blockbuster franchise in 2000. By 2014, Blockbuster LLC had closed and Bend was home to one of just 50 remaining franchise stores. Then, in 2019, after the closure of the two remaining stores in Alaska, Bend became the final Blockbuster in the world.
It was at this point that Bend’s Blockbuster location bloomed into a tourist destination. Even now, it sells Blockbuster merchandise and is the home to around 1,200 movie and TV titles. It also has approximately 4,000 members who regularly rent its collection.
Rather incredibly, the store is still owned by Ken Tisher, who opened the Pacific Video rental in 1992. Sandi Harding has also been Blockbuster’s general manager since 2004.
Is Blockbuster based on a true story?
Netflix’s Blockbuster is most definitely inspired by the efforts of the people above to keep the store open. However, most of the other storylines for the show appear to have been dreamed up by its creator Vanessa Ramos.
If you’re looking to learn more about the real final Blockbuster store, though, you do have one other very good option …
How to watch The Last Blockbuster documentary
The Last Blockbuster is a 2020 documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of Blockbuster Video. It’s currently available to watch on Netflix, so anyone who has access to a Netflix subscription, and 86 minutes of spare time, can do just that.
The Last Blockbuster takes a look at how Bend’s final ever Blockbuster has been able to exist for so long, as well as focusing on Harding and the business model behind its survival.
At the same time, it tells the story of Blockbuster’s ultimate demise, while exploring how it made deals with film studios that put other independent video stores out of business, and how poor management and the financial crisis between 2007 and 2008 brought about its collapse.
Most importantly, though, The Last Blockbuster celebrates what made Blockbuster Video such a special place for movie fans growing up, with the likes of Kevin Smith, Adam Brody, Sam Levine, Ron Funches, Paul Scheer and Brian Posehn waxing lyrical about how much time they spent there in their youths.
It makes a perfect companion piece to all 10 episodes of Blockbuster, which premieres on Netflix November 3.
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Born and raised in England but now based in Philadelphia, Gregory Wakeman has written for the BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, GQ, and Yahoo Movies UK, all while defiantly trying to keep his accent.