In the latest installment of “Academy Originals,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences takes viewers inside Vidiots, a video rental store and movie lover’s mecca turned nonprofit cultural center.
Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber co-founded Vidiots back in 1985 with just 800 titles. Since then, they have amassed nearly 50,000, many of which can only be found at Vidiots — including VHS tapes that have never made it to DVD.
“We should be preserving and holding onto these things as long possible, like a museum or like a library,” said Ryan Marker, store manager at Vidiots. “Especially because this town invented movies, for this town to lose this store would be horribly tragic, if you ask me.”
What began as a for-profit business over time evolved into what is now the non-profit Vidiots Foundation. The foundation hosts a myriad of film events with industry and filmmaking professionals (many are also customers), including free screenings and a monthly film trivia night.
“Before we were more a service to the community for entertainment, but now I think we’re more aware of our mission,” Polinger said. “Our mission is to preserve, protect and educate.”