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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

"Vidiots" Relaunching with Theater, Community Space in Eagle Rock, CA

Vidiots, the iconic L.A. video store-turned-film nonprofit, will relaunch in the Fall of 2020. Already more than a rental house, the new home in the historic Eagle Theatre in beautiful Eagle Rock will include expanded entertainment, social, and community space for the best in brick and mortar video stores. Hard copy videos are back!

Vidiots' new facility will provide a presentation area, which feature a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics and community-driven programs. An adjacent storefront will house Vidiots’ 50,000+ DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collections for rental. The expansive location will also have a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art second screening room for film programs, educational workshops, and special events. Additionally, Vidiots will collaborate with the best local food and beverage partners to provide an ever-changing menu. Fans of the eclectic outlet are chomping at the bit to experience this exciting new incarnation of Vidiots. LA's favorite video store is doing its best to bring the beloved venue into the twenty-first century, while maintaining its retro sensibility beloved by its devoted, cult-like, fans.

Of course, restoring the 90-year-old, 200-seat Eagle Theatre to its original purpose as an independent theater with state-of-the-art sound and projection (35mm and DCP) venue doesn't come cheap. Therefore, Vidiots established a group of First-In Founding Members, and the roaster includes notable names from the entertainment industry such as Mark Duplass, Rian Johnson, and Jason Reitman. In fact, Reitman donated a complete 35mm projection system for actual films to be presented in a retro-style video store. It's a stroke of genius that should lure the truly dedicated cinephiles of the entire LA area.

Those responsible for this exciting reimagining of the legendary community vendor have plenty to say about the endeavor...

“Vidiots relaunching on the cusp of [its] 35th birthday is a triumph for Los Angeles film history and cements the legacy of Vidiots... Bringing the Eagle Theatre back and providing L.A. with a long-needed new film space is thrilling. We’re deeply grateful for our valued programming partners present and future, our expert advisors, and especially our First-In Founding Members whose generosity and passionate belief in our mission have made this relaunch possible. Vidiots at the Eagle is a community space created by and for film lovers and filmmakers. We welcome and encourage everyone who believes in our mission to join us as we work towards opening in Fall 2020!” - Maggie Mackay, Executive Director

“We’re thrilled that Vidiots is moving into this next chapter and that our unique library of films will once again be made available to the public, especially in this era of streaming where choices are increasingly limited. Vidiots at the Eagle Theatre is a truly exciting and ambitious plan that revolves around our commitment to archival preservation, education, and accessibility, while maintaining and growing our passionate community of film lovers.” - Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, Vidiots Founders

“When we first moved in together and merged our belongings, we became a two-VCR family, and this was in 2013. VHS and video stores were integral to both of us becoming who we are, and we couldn’t be happier to support the evolution of Vidiots and its media library.” - Karina Longworth and Rian Johnson

Jason Reitman added, “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. Thank you! So grateful to be a small part of this evolving institution.”

Future programming and partner organizations include Film Independent, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Outfest, Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and Women in Film. The future of Vidiots is a bright one.


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