Legendary L.A. Video Store Vidiots Set to Reopen with Theater and Bar

Aubrey Plaza, the Duplass brothers, Karina Longworth, and Rian Johnson are among the supporters for the historic Eagle Theatre and video store.
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Los Angeles video store and non-profit film organization Vidiots officially has a reopening date.

After years-worth of renovations, Vidiots is set to open its doors again June 1. Sneak preview events for the Founding Members program will start in May 2023 leading up to the launch date. Now located at 4884 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Vidiots boasts a 271-seat, state-of-the-art movie theater with 35mm, 16mm, and digital projection capabilities; a beer and wine bar with concessions and a light menu; a flexible micro-cinema and community space, and the legendary signature video store. The nearly 11,000 square-foot venue will provide flexibility for various screenings, special events, workshops, and community gatherings per the official press statement.

The video store, meanwhile, boasts 50,000 titles on DVD, Blu-ray, and VHS.

“We’re overjoyed to finally see our dream of bringing Vidiots back to Los Angeles,” Vidiots founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber said. “We could not have accomplished this incredible feat without the loyal and steadfast support of a community truly devoted to cinema and creating a space for new generations to be inspired and enlightened by the arts, and where they can fall in love with film as we have.”

Supporting Vidiots Founding Members include Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jen and Jay Duplass, Ike Barinholtz, Lake Bell, Charlie Day, Elijah Wood, Karina Longworth, and Rian Johnson. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Max Minghella, Nate Moore, Morgan Neville, Ify Nwadiwe, Patton Oswalt, Amy Pascal, Paul Scheer and June Diane Raphael, Noah Segan and Alison Bennett, Sharon Van Etten, Jessica Williams, and Alex Winter are also among the extensive list of supporters. Founding Member levels start at $5,000 for donations.

Corporate Founding Members and Sponsors include A24, Abramorama, Alamo Drafthouse, All Facts, Cinetic Media, Criterion Collection, Facet, Final Draft, GKIDS, IFC Films and Shudder, Kindman & Co., Letterboxd, Level Forward, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, Monkeypaw Productions, MUBI, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Paramount Pictures, Pascal Pictures, Pipeline Media Group, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures, Superbloom, UTA, Utopia Media, Vinegar Syndrome, Ways & Means, Writers Guild of America West, and ZEISS, among others.

Foundation support for the non-profit comes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and National Association of Theater Owners California/Nevada. Gracious in-kind donors include Dolby, Dunn-Edwards, Fever Content, Fireclay Tile, Gumball Poodle, QSC, Stone Source, Thunderwing Studio, and Jason Reitman, who provided a 35mm projection system.

“There are not enough words to describe our gratitude for the incredible community that’s rallied around us for so many years, making the dream of our reopening a reality,” Executive Director Maggie Mackay said. “We’re counting the seconds until we can welcome all of L.A. and beyond back to the video store and the beautiful Eagle Theatre. In our corner of Northeast L.A., film will once again thrive as the social, communal, inspiring, life-changing art form it has been for over 100 years.”

Vidiots opened in 1985 as a women-owned alternative video store based in Santa Monica. The store closed in 2017 due to rising costs, while Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures funded the organization for two years, allowing Vidiots to store its collection and plan for a relaunch. The relaunch for the iconic theater and video store was announced in 2019, with a then-projected date of fall 2020.

The new site for Vidiots is the Yosemite Theatre, which opened in 1929; it later became known as the Eagle Theatre in 1940 until closing in 2000 and reopening as a church. Vidiots Foundation became proud stewards of the theater in September, 2019. Vidiots has remodeled and rehabilitated the Eagle as a public cinema, video store, and community space.

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