Self Storage Units—a Common Character in Many Hollywood Movies

Posted on Mar 29 2011 - 8:49pm by John Stevens

If there is one thing that the world pays attention to it is whatever comes out of Hollywood. Every summer people look forward to the latest and greatest blockbuster from James Cameron or Michael Bay, another installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and a cute, cuddly animated feature that kids and adults can enjoy together. One thing that tends to pop up in a lot of features in one way, shape, or form is a self storage unit.

Often times self storage units play a minor role in the film or television show. Storage units don’t always play a major role, but they play a role. Look back at a lot of your favorite movies and television programs and at one time or another storage units played a part. Too often in terrorist/espionage type programs the bad guys tend to hide their weapons or bombs in them. Criminals like to hide their stolen goods in them.

Sometimes self storage units actually play a major role in the film too.

Back in 2009 there was a film that was screened at the Sundance Film Festival that had self storage units as the focus of the film. The film was called “Steel Homes” and was made by Odd Girl Out Productions and Quark Films and was about the hidden treasures inside self storage units and the secrets that reside inside a self storage facility.


“I can still remember the first time I visited a self storage warehouse,” said director Eva Weber. “I was there to help a friend move her belongings but became absolutely fascinated by the eerie atmosphere of the space itself. You can almost hear the echoes of other people’s lives reverberating down the long corridors.”

A more main stream but still unknown example would be one which Rainn Wilson, star of The Office, starred in back in 2002 aptly called “Self Storage.” In the movie Rainn’s character, Lee, gets talked into cleaning out the garage and taking a lot of stuff to a self storage unit. Little does he know that his wife is just preparing to leave him once the boxes are all stored away.

As luck would have it she is cheating on him with a friend who happens to be helping him move things into the storage unit. Somewhere in the process of moving into the self storage unit Rainn’s character figures out what is going on and it becomes clear that something sinister is going to happen as the two walk through the halls of the self storage facility.

Apparently there must be something to self storage units for Hollywood to take such an interest in the industry.

Sources Used:

“Short Movie on Self Storage Screens at Sundance Film Festival.” Inside Self Storage; 16 January 2009.

”Short Starts: A Creepy Rainn Wilson in “Self Storage.”” IndieWire; 28 March 2011.