How ‘Captain Marvel’ nails ’90s nostalgia in a Blockbuster video store


It was the 1990s, a time when investors stockpiled Beanie Babies and America’s idea of a superhero movie was Alec Baldwin in “The Shadow.”

How far we’ve come.

Only with its latest flick, “Captain Marvel,” Marvel Studios has decided to go backward. Specifically to 1995 for an origin story of its female cosmic hero, played by Brie Larson.

She’s Carol Danvers, a warrior for an alien race called the Kree who crash lands on Earth and teams with a CG-face-lifted Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to battle the alien Skrulls.

The movie is likely to have anyone who lived through the era mentally revisiting aspects of their life from 25 years ago.

“The challenges with setting the film in 1995 are quite funny things,” production designer Andy Nicholson tells The Post. “Like if you start doing Internet research, you remember there’s way less [photo reference]from that time. It’s not like you’ll find 20,000 images.”

For example, what did an Internet cafe look like then? Larson’s character visits one and experiences an aspect of 1990s life no one wants to revisit: excruciating dial-up service. The vintage PCs came from a couple of Los Angeles prop companies that specialize in out-of-date technology.

Another tough task was recreating a Blockbuster video store. Captain Marvel crashes through the roof of one when she initially arrives on Earth.

The production found a disused Los Angeles strip mall built in the 1970s, and redressed it to look as though it contained a Blockbuster, Radio Shack and a dry cleaner — everything anyone would need back in the ’90s, short of a Bennigan’s.

The exteriors were so convincing that locals drove up, unaware the mall was just a movie set and they wouldn’t be able to rent a copy of “Speed.”

The Blockbuster’s interior was just as detailed, and would take any 1990s kid back to those days when movies were actual physical objects to be held, stored in plastic cases and returned within 48 hours, lest you be subject to a crippling fine.

The fake store was stocked with some 5,000 video cassettes, including a top 20 accurate to the time period. Hunting them down proved time consuming.

Set decorator Lauri Gaffin ordered bulk lots of hundreds of cassettes off eBay, then printed out re-created Blockbuster covers for each, assembling each by hand.

“Something that’s on-screen for a few minutes took us weeks,” Gaffin tells The Post.

She and the team also re-created soda and boxes of candy, accurate to the 1990s.