Great news for Los Angeles cinephiles! The iconic alternative video store Vidiots, which first opened in LA in 1985, is now reopening, with a new storefront in the Eagle Rock neighborhood set to be unveiled in fall 2020. (Deadline has the full scoop.) The new location is being billed as a community entertainment space, and will not only include a video store housing more than 50,000 titles in a variety of formats, but also a new theater as well. The screening room will be housed in the restored Eagle Theatre, which first opened as the Yosemite Theatre in 1929, and will present a lineup of repertory titles, new independent films, cult classics, and more.
Vidiots supporter and filmmaker Jason Reitman (next directing yet another “Ghostbusters” film) donated a 35mm projection system to the theater. “Los Angeles should have more movie theaters, not fewer, and Vidiots has come to give all us punch-drunk film lovers another place to call home where we can roam the racks,” said Reitman in a statement. “So grateful to be a small part of this evolving institution.”
The original Vidiots used to live in Santa Monica on Pico Blvd. and 3rd Street, but that location shuttered in 2017, and with a generous cash infusion from Megan Ellison began looking for a new home for its collection of Blu-Rays, DVDs, and VHS tapes. Back in July, Vidiots partnered with the Alamo Drafthouse on programming initiatives for the exhibition chain’s Video Vortex at its new downtown Los Angeles location. Currently, Video Vortex offers a free movie rentals inside the LA Drafthouse. The Vidiots partnership includes the series “Tales from the Video Store,” featuring guests, filmmakers, critics, and friends waxing nostalgic about the bygone days of brick-and-mortar video houses.
“Vidiots relaunching on the cusp of our 35th birthday is a triumph for Los Angeles film history and cements the legacy of Vidiots Founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber as innovators in LA film culture,” said Maggie Mackay, Executive Director of Vidiots, in a statement. “Vidiots at the Eagle is a community space created by and for film lovers and filmmakers, and we welcome and encourage everyone who believes in our mission to join us as we work towards opening in Fall 2020.”
Vidiots has an array of upcoming programming partnerships with essential LA institutions, such as The Black List, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater (which recently moved to the Highland Park neighborhood of LA), and Cinema Eye Honors. Vidiots is also presenting 16mm films at the Bootleg Theater in Historic Filipinotown.
The many luminaries involved with the fundraising for and reopening of Vidiots include Mark Duplass, Karina Longworth, Rian Johnson, Phil Lord, Nate Moore, Jess Wu and Keith Calder, Mackenzie Davis, and Morgan Neville.
IndieWire has reached out to Vidiots for comment.