The Documentary That Has Netflix Viewers Feeling Nostalgic

Netflix is the go-to giant for streaming. A subscription nets you hundreds if not thousands of shows, movies, and documentaries, all available immediately at the touch of a button — plus or minus a few seconds due to internet buffering speeds. Not bad for what started as a movie rental service that shipped DVDs via snail mail. But before Netflix earned its place atop the media tower, it had to get rid of the competition — specifically: movie rental stores. Back then, the renting champion's crown belonged to Blockbuster Video.

In what has become a business school case study in commercial myopia and lack of foresight, Blockbuster once had the opportunity to prevent its demise by purchasing Netflix, but the company passed. Look at Blockbuster now — it has gone the way of Fry's Electronics, Toys"R"Us, and Sears. Well, almost. 

One final Blockbuster clings to life, and if you want to watch a documentary dedicated to the last of the brick and mortar rental stores, it is available on — irony of ironies — Netflix.

Netflix streams a documentary about its fallen foe entitled The Last Blockbuster

Kids these days get to grow up in a privileged, internet-driven paradise where they can watch virtually any movie they want at the drop of a hat. But that convenience has robbed them of the experience that is visiting a Blockbuster Video, since the act of wandering its aisles and perusing its selections was half the fun. The Last Blockbuster is the closest most modern audiences will get to experiencing it firsthand.

The Last Blockbuster, as the title suggests, is a documentary detailing the fall of Blockbuster Video. The film reveals the hidden truths of why Blockbuster went out of business, and dispels some rumors surrounding the company's downfall. This might seem like a bittersweet documentary about a bygone era, but it also celebrates the once-great chain. The film features prominent entertainment faces such as Kevin Smith and Jamie Kennedy detailing how Blockbuster aided their own careers. Plus, you can't name a documentary "The Last Blockbuster" without one final Blockbuster Video store holding that title.

While the video primarily recounts Blockbuster's dissolution, it also champions the titular last Blockbuster, which flourishes thanks to the community in Bend, Oregon that it serves. Moreover, the video does this with reverence toward the store's owner, Sandi Harding. It's not easy being the last Blockbuster manager, but she's basically a modern day folk hero.

Check it out on Netflix, free with subscription. No late fees attach.