Meet The Matron of Nostalgia Who Runs the Last Blockbuster on Earth
For many millennials, a trip to Blockbuster on a Friday night was a favored tradition while growing up. Myself included.
The yellow walls adorned with plastic DVD cases, endless aisles of movies labeled by genres like “Family,” “Action,” “Thriller” and “New Releases” held limitless possibilities for the stories we could be told and the world’s we could enter. Clicking around on a TV screen, it seems, just doesn’t have the same effect.
All but one Blockbuster Video stores have closed worldwide. The sole remaining store is in Bend, Oregon. A documentary called The Last Blockbuster, newly (and somewhat ironically) released on Netflix, chronicles the shutdowns of Blockbusters around the world, leaving the Bend location the sole franchisee.
The movie tells its story through the eyes of one woman: Sandi Harding. Harding is the manager of the Bend, Oregon store. And the documentary positions her as the matron of nostalgia: her continual efforts mean that DirecTV, which owns the Blockbuster trademark, continues to license the name to the store.
But the Bend, OR Blockbuster has gained cult status, and as we discuss in our interview, the gatekeepers of the license have been very respectful of that fact.
Also in this interview, Sandi Harding discusses how she came to work for the Bend, Oregon Blockbuster–way before it was the last location on earth. Plus, you’ll hear her reaction to being the unlikely yet beloved star of a documentary about recapturing a time when you could hold a movie in both your heart and your hand.