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SYFY WIRE Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel pop-up video rental stores will give you serious '90s flashbacks

By Josh Weiss
Brie Larson Captain Marvel

Blockbuster is dead! Long live Blockbuster!

Brick-and-mortar video rental stores may be a thing of the past, but they will get their proper due when Captain Marvel makes it world debut this coming week.

Since the female-led MCU project is set during the 1990s, Marvel Studios got very creative by opening two pop-up locations that evoke the Saturday night nostalgia of driving to Blockbuster or West Coast Video in order to pick out a VHS (later a DVD or Blu-ray) and a bucket of popcorn to enjoy with your family.

The pop-up—called "Stanley Video"—was discovered by Reddit user u/joshuarlee1 at their local mall in Vancouver, Canada. After a scavenger hunt, they were awarded with a Captain Marvel-themed pin. Finding out about the pop-up via an official Marvel Facebook post, u/joshuarlee1 wrote that there is a location in Toronto as well.

"An example of a [scavenger hunt] clue was like, 'what film introduced a family of superheroes?' And obviously, thats The Incredibles," the redditor tells SYFY WIRE. "You [had] to find that DVD box within the store and bring it to someone at the front desk who [would] okay it and hand you the next clue. There [were] six in total and you [had] five minutes to complete [each one]. I assume everyone got the pin in the end because the first time I tried it, we didn’t even get past Clue 2! Clues were related to any Marvel or Disney film. Beforehand, they ask[ed] how well [our] knowledge of the films [were]. Depending on what you [said], your clues [would] either be easier or harder."

Captain Marvel video store
Captain Marvel video store

As you can see in the images above, the space was decorated with various Marvel movie posters, while the video selection included all kinds of Disney-owned films (both animated and live-action), such as PinocchioFrankenweenie, Enchanted, Freaky FridayFinding Nemo, and more.

"For me personally, I was probably around 6 or 8 [years old] when video stores were still around," the redditor adds. "I do have some memories of going to one where the guy knew everyone's name who frequently visited [the store], and he would give good recommendations. Overall, I thought it was a cool experience and it was a fun challenge, too."

Blockbuster got a major shoutout during the first-ever trailer released for the film, which opens with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) plummeting to Earth and into a branch of the iconic video rental chain. The brand, which met its demise once the age of streaming began to gain prominence, has just one last location in America after two stores in Alaska closed last summer. The last surviving Blockbuster survives in Bend, Oregon.

Blockbuster video
Captain Marvel video store
Captain Marvel video store

The pop-up rental stores are yet another major piece of viral and '90s-inspired marketing for the film, which also got custom Magic Eye illusions released last week. In fact, our poor peepers are still recovering from those stare-imperative stereograms.

Based on a tweet from Marvel's Canada-based Twitter account, Stanley Video is set to close its doors today (gone too soon) after being open since February 28. As evidenced in the tweet below, the fictional store's logo is directly modeled off of Blockbuster's. Unfortunately for those of us in America, Stanley looks like he'll only be visiting Canada this time around. We blame the Skrulls for this injustice!

Captain Marvel opens in theaters everywhere Friday, March 8.