Nostalgia and the noughties are having quite the moment right now, and let’s be honest, nothing says Y2K quite like spending your Friday night in a Blockbuster.
Since the closure of the popular video-rental chain in 2014, there’s famously been just one left in the world in Bend, Oregon. Until now, that is (well, sort of).
Due to open on Manchester’s Oldham Street later this month, Blockbusters NQ will pay homage to the glory days of video rental with a new video shop-themed bar.
It comes from the owners of Chakalaka, the Northern Quarter’s South African bar and restaurant, which sits just across the road from the new space.
Decked out in the Blockbuster’s signature yellow and blue colour scheme, just like the real thing its walls are covered in video cassettes and old TVs playing cult classics, with a stereo belting out soundtracks from decades past for the ultimate nostalgia trip.
Split across two floors, its main floor is modelled on the classic Blockbuster store set up and even includes a ‘naughty films’ section hidden at the back.
Downstairs, meanwhile, black walls, velvet chairs, and a sparkly stage for performances lend a cinematic feel to the bar’s entertainment space.
Drinks-wise, cocktails include the VHS’presso martini (garnished with a VHS-style liquorice swirl), a G&T with a pomegranate twist (amusingly called the PG &T) and the Alcopop-corn cocktail, a creamy and sweet popcorn inspired drink.
Blockbusters NQ will also serve popcorn in quirky flavours like roast chicken and beef burger.
Speaking on the new opening, owner Stewart Dean said: “I truly wanted to make somewhere special that people get excited by.
“I was a huge fan of video stores and my favourite bars are those that immerse you in a secret or provide a bit of an escape.
“I thought what better homage to an iconic part of our history than to create a parody of Blockbuster, one where you can drink, and the only returns here are for another hit of fun and nostalgia.”
A message on the bar’s website adds: “F*ck the future. Back in the day Blockbuster was everywhere.
“We miss it and we think it’s about time the brand made a return – one where you can drink, and the only returns here are for another hit of fun and nostalgia.
“Blockbusters NQ is not the best ‘streaming’ service, but we are the best ‘get you steaming’ service. We have a modern list of cocktails and a casual and friendly atmosphere. We are here to stay well into the future so be kind and rewind with us.”
Blockbusters NQ is set to open on 27 May in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. To keep up with its progress ahead of the opening date, follow the bar on Instagram here.
Feature image – Instagram / supplied
Police warn criminals ‘don’t bother’ attending Parklife after already making arrest
Greater Manchester Police have said that criminals shouldn’t ‘bother’ coming to Parklife festival this weekend, after already making an arrest at the festival site.
Officers have been carrying out searches of people arriving on site this week – and have already arrested a 24-year-old man.
A quantity of pills and a knife were both recovered from the man, who has been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs and possession of a bladed article.
After the arrest, Superintendent Phil Spurgeon issued a statement to criminals, saying ‘don’t bother coming to Parklife’.
He said: “We have a really robust police and partnership community safety operation for the festival, and the arrest and seizure yesterday demonstrates the vigilance of security staff, our thorough search procedures and our commitment to keeping people safe.
“Make no mistake, illegal items such as weapons and drugs can have fatal consequences. Our top priority this weekend is keeping people safe, and anyone caught trying to take such items into the festival will be robustly dealt with.
“I hope the genuine festival-goers are excited for the fantastic weekend ahead and I am confident the majority will enjoy the event responsibly and safely.”
Greater Manchester Police and Parklife security staff will be working closely together to intercept anyone travelling to the festival with criminal intentions.
The arrest on 8 June was thanks to the festival’s drug detection dogs.
In a formal statement addressing the situation, the city‘s flagship further education institution says some of its systems have been accessed by an “unauthorised party” and that data has “likely been copied” as a result of this.
The University’s in-house experts are said to be “working around the clock” to resolve the issue.
External support teams are also said to be working in collaboration with the University to understand what data has been accessed.
Patrick Hackett – Registrar, Secretary, and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Manchester – explained in a statement issued this morning: “Regrettably, I have to share with you the news that the University is the victim of a cyber incident, [as] it has been confirmed that some of our systems have been accessed by an unauthorised party and data have likely been copied.
“Our in-house experts and established expert external support are working around the clock to resolve this incident, and we are working to understand what data has been accessed”.
Mr Hackett said he understands the nature of the issue will “cause concern to members of our community”, and says the University is “very sorry for this”.
The University says it is also working with relevant authorities – including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the National Crime Agency, and other regulatory bodies – to resolve the issue, and will provide information to those affected as soon as they are able to.
Students and staff are also be told to be vigilant to any suspicious phishing emails within the coming days – with the University’s IT Services team having published some relevant advice to refer to.