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Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth Pledge $100,000 to LA’s Iconic Vidiots Store and Theater

In LA's depleted exhibition market, Vidiots looks to be a new shrine from cinephiles at the historic Eagle Theatre.

Rian Johnson, left, and Karina Longworth arrive at the 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday, January 18, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Producers Guild of America/AP Images)

Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The moviegoing landscape in Los Angeles has been a little sadder without the return of the shuttered Arclight, but two of LA’s savviest cinephiles are hoping to do something about it. Director Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth, author and creator of the beloved “You Must Remember This” podcast, are pledging $100,000 as founding members of Vidiots, the iconic LA video store and nonprofit film organization. Vidiots is currently undergoing a nine-month renovation at the historic Eagle Theatre in the Eagle Rock neighborhood. Their gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 through September 17.

“Given the recent demise or transformation of some of our most beloved places for moviegoing in Los Angeles, it feels more urgent than ever to celebrate and support the rebirth of Vidiots. We hope you’ll join us in helping the women of Vidiots build an inclusive shrine to movies — both projected in a community setting, and preserved on physical media,” Longworth and Johnson said.

“The past year has only solidified our belief that film spaces designed to foster human interaction and artistic discovery are vital to inspiring the next generation of storytellers and audiences. With Karina and Rian’s unparalleled support, and the incredible generosity of all our Founding Members and film-loving supporters, Vidiots will once again be the film hub LA,” Vidiots said.

Vidiots is currently reconstructing the 92-year-old Eagle Theatre to restore it to its original purpose as an independent movie house. Vidiots will operate a 250-seat theater with 35mm and digital projection, concessions, as well as Vidiots’ legendary video store with 50,000-plus titles for rental on DVD and BluRay. The nearly-11,000 square-foot venue will also host screenings and events. Vidiots plans to operate seven days a week and produce a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics, special events, and more.

Vidiots’ has so far raised over $1 million of its total $2.5 million goal.

Alongside Longworth and Johnson are a group of founding members whose names you might recognize: Miguel and Justine Arteta, Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass, Ike Barinholtz, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder, Mackenzie Davis, Jen and Jay Duplass, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Charlie Day, Sean Fennessey, Dana Gould, Liz Hannah, Phil Lord, Max Minghella, Nate Moore, Morgan Neville, Ify Nwadiwe, Patton Oswalt, Amy Pascal, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Scheer and June Diane Raphael, Noah Segan and Alison Bennett, Sharon Van Etten, and Alex Winter, among many more.

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