Anchorage Blockbuster receives Russell Crowe movie merch
A small shrine of actor Russell Crowe’s attire from some of his more obscure movies has reached Anchorage’s last Blockbuster Video store, after being pledged by the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
Managers of the Blockbuster location on DeBarr Road confirmed that the glass display cases and clothing, displayed by Oliver on his satirical commentary show last month, had shown up at the store this week.
Blockbuster manager Kevin Daymude said Wednesday that the items on display -- as well as handwritten letters from Crowe attesting to the authenticity of each one -- had drawn more attention than he'd expected, due to the long shadow they cast online.
"There were two people who had just moved up here from Austin, Texas," Daymude said. "They had heard about it on a live stream, and they came in just to see it."
Oliver bought the goods – including Crowe’s jockstrap from the boxing movie “Cinderella Man,” the vest he wore as Inspector Javert in a film adaptation of “Les Miserables” and director’s chair seat blacks for Crowe and Denzel Washington from “American Gangster” – at an auction Crowe hosted following his divorce.
Asked if the jockstrap had been cleaned before it was put on display, Daymude said he wasn't sure.
"I put it on the display," he said, laughing. "Now I need to sanitize my hands!"
Oliver justified his purchases, including $7,000 for the jockstrap alone, during an April 15 segment on the few remaining U.S. Blockbuster locations by suggesting they might “draw people in” like the movie memorabilia hosted at restaurants like Planet Hollywood.
“There’s no way for a Blockbuster in Alaska to get memorabilia like that – or is there?” Oliver bemusedly asked his audience, which cheered wildly when he quoted Crowe and asked, “Are you not entertained?”
“We got a bunch of pointless Russell Crowe memorabilia, and I can think of no more fitting place for them to reside than an Alaskan Blockbuster,” Oliver said.
Crowe gave the owners of the Blockbuster 48 hours to take him up on his offer – which they did, in short order.
Although staff at the store haven't gotten to speak directly with Crowe or Oliver, Daymude wanted to share word of the display with them.
"I hope he's proud of it, and I'd love to get hold of him and take a photo and let him see it," Daymude said.
John Thompson contributed information to this story.
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