After our readers noticed glaring omissions from our initial Top Self-Storage Moments in Film and TV round-up, we decided to create another list highlighting even more great cinematic self-storage scenes.
1. Arrested Development, Season 1, Episode 2: “Top Banana” (2003)
Taking the number one spot is cult comedy classic Arrested Development. In this episode, George Bluth Senior’s recently paroled cell mate, T-Bone, burns down the family storage unit at the behest of George Sr. himself. The always well-meaning Michael arrives on the scene, but he’s too late, as T-Bone’s dirty work has already been done.
When Michael finds T-Bone working at the Bluth family banana stand, he asks, “You burned down the storage unit?’ To which T-Bone replies, “Oh, most definitely!”
2. Citizen Kane, 1941
Directed by Orson Welles when he was just 24 years old, Citizen Kane has gone on to be one of the most respected films of all time. Known for a revolutionary use of sound, camera movement, complex mise en scéne, and use of deep focus and wide-angle lens cinematography, Citizen Kane revolutionized film-making. The film’s plot is a thinly disguised exposé of William Randolph Hearst, and needless to say, the film does not paint the newspaper tycoon in the best light.
In the film, when Charles Foster Kane meets his future mistress, the failed singer Susan Alexander, on the street for the first time, he says, “You see, my mother died, too— a long time ago. Her things were put into storage out west, because I had no place to put them then. But now I’ve sent for them just the same. And tonight I’d planned to make a sort of sentimental journey – to the scenes of my youth – my childhood…”
In a film about failed attempts to recapture lost youth and distant memories, it’s no surprise that self-storage made it’s way into the screenplay.
3. Primer, 2004
Shot for a mere $7,000, wildly successful independent film Primer tells the tale of two aspiring scientists who use a self-storage facility to conduct dangerous time-travel experiments. In addition to gaining a large cult following, the film also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
4. Self Storage, 2002
Filmed on 35mm, Peter O’Brien’s suspensful Self Storage short film stars Rainn Wilson, best known for his famously quirky role in The Office. Wilson delivers an incredibly creepy performance, zooming around the halls of E-Z-DUZIT Storage on a Razor scooter while carrying out a very sinister revenge.
5. Monster, 2003
Playing Aileen Wuornos, a real-life prostitute turned serial killer, Charlize Theron took home an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2003. Wuornos, who murdered seven men in 1989 and 1990, was executed on Florida’s death row in 2002, so it’s unlikely that she ever saw Theron’s performance. Nevertheless, Monster is based on real events, including the fact that the homeless Aileen Wuornos kept her belongings in a self-storage unit.
6. Max Payne, 2008
Featuring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Ludacris, Max Payne is an action film based on the popular video game franchise. Although it was successful at the box office, the film is generally vilified by fans of the video games. In the film, Max keeps his belongings at Gognitti’s Self Storage, which is named after Vinnie Gognitti, one of the game’s villains.
7. The Big C, Season 1, Episode 13: “Taking the Plunge” (2010)
This wildly successful Showtime series stars Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison, a woman struggling to deal with terminal cancer. In the season finale of season one, Cathy’s son Adam discovers an envelope that reads, “Don’t Open Until I’m Gone.” Inside the envelope is a key to a self-storage unit. It looks like she stored with one of our storage facility clients, Uncle Bob’s!
In a heartbreaking scene, Adam discovers a sports car and presents for various upcoming birthdays.
8. Larry Crowne, 2011
In his second time in the director’s chair, Tom Hanks opted to shoot a scene at a Los Angeles self-storage facility. Julia Roberts’ character takes Hanks to her storage unit so she can get him some more fashionable clothing.
9. 24, Season 6, “Day 6: 8:00a.m. – 9:00a.m.” (2007)
As Jack Bauer tracks one of Abu Fayed’s men, a self-storage facility goes up in flames.
10. Awake, “The Little Guy” Season 1, Episode 2 (2012)
Self-storage also gets some screen time in Awake, a police procedural fantasy drama that centers around a police detective who becomes confronted with two separate realities.
Photos courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company, RKO Pictures, ThinkFilm, Peter O’Brien, DEJ Productions, Dune Entertainment, Showtime, StudioCanal, and NBC.