For those who remember a time before Netflix when watching a new release movie meant getting your hands on a physical VHS or DVD, Blockbuster was the place to go.
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had just over 9,000 stores across North America. But, as internet connectivity increased, so did online streaming. The video rental chain was later purchased by Dish Network in 2011, who shut all of the stores with the exception of two locations in Alaska and the one in Oregon.
However, the remaining stores continued to struggle. And even with a publicity boost from John Oliver and HBO’s Last Week Tonight buying the jockstrap Russell Crowe wore in Cinderella Man for US$7,000—along with other props—and donated them to two Blockbuster locations in Alaska, those stores closed in July.
In Bend, Oregon, the last Blockbuster standing is collaborating with a local craft brewer to make a beer in its honour. 10 Barrel Brewing is commemorating the video store with The Last Blockbuster, a light-bodied black ale.
“The Last Blockbuster beer pairs perfectly with buttery theatre popcorn and your favourite movie-sized chocolate with a light body, smooth finish and hints of nostalgia,” Chris Cox, the cofounder of 10 Barrel Brewing.
The Last Blockbuster beer debuted on September 21 at a block party in Bend, Oregon that was open to the public. If you want to try it for yourself, it’ll also be served in 10 Barrel pub locations in Oregon; Boise, Idaho; San Diego, California; and Denver, Colorado.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.