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Netflix Versus Blockbuster: ‘The Last Blockbuster’ Documentary Tells the Tale Behind the Chain’s Final Days

Forever in our hearts.

Credit: 1091 Pictures / Youtube

Now an antique emblem of a bygone time, documentary ‘The Last Blockbuster’ just made its Netflix premiere- the very media giant that many cite as the cause of Blockbuster’s downfall. But is there any truth to this?

Back before the internet was mainstream, our only analog alternative to our modern-day streaming services came in the form of popcorn-scented video rental shops like Blockbuster. 

Released in January of this year, ‘The Last Blockbuster’ follows the story of the video store chain’s slow decline in business until their ultimate demise.

Blockbuster’s roots in the video industry ran back several decades, with the company originating as early as the late 1970’s. At its 2004 peak, Blockbuster owned over 9,000 stores and 84,000 employees. 

So what changed?

According to the documentary, a lot of things were responsible for the chain’s eventual fall from grace. A mixture of shifting cultural attitudes, the 2008 recession and, indeed, the advent of Netflix’s early mail-order service contributed in equal measure.

Credit: Cinemassacre / Youtube

Is there an irony to the bittersweet, nostalgia-tipping farewell finding itself available to watch only on select streaming platforms? 

Honestly, not really. As former CFO of Blockbuster Tom Casey states in the trailer:

“Do I miss renting from a physical store? No. Absolutely not. I don’t think anybody does”

It’s hard to compete when technology is making everything just so damn convenient lately. 

Despite this, the nostalgia for the ritual lives on, and rightly so. With the documentary hitting Netflix right as we’re hitting our corona-versary, I think a lot of us are missing the little inconveniences of leaving the house now more than ever. 

If you’re looking for a sweet little trip down memory lane, check out ‘The Last Blockbuster’, streaming now.

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