EXCLUSIVE: Vidiots is officially coming back! The iconic Los Angeles-based video store-turned-film nonprofit organization is set to relaunch in L.A.’s Eagle Rock neighborhood via an entertainment community space with an independent theater and a storefront. The new Vidiots home is set to open its doors in fall 2020
The new Vidiots theater will be housed in a restored 90-year-old, 200-seat Eagle Theatre and will include a state-of-the-art sound and projection. It will offer a full program of repertory titles, new independents, obscure cult favorites, beloved classics and community-driven programs. Adjacent to the theater will be a storefront that will include Vidiots’ 50,000-plus DVD, Blu-ray and rare VHS collection for rental. The location will also have a multi-purpose second screening room for film programs, educational workshops, and special events. In addition, Vidiots will keep it community-focused by partnering with local food and beverage venues to provide an ever-changing menu.
“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 L.A. film culture,” executive director Maggie Mackay said. “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.”
“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,” add Polinger and Tauber. “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.”
Vidiots is currently fundraising and is also identifying cornerstone donors and corporate partners for naming rights. For those who are interested in joining the Vidiots family, they are inviting First-In Founding Members. You would be in good company: names include Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder, Emily Cook, Mackenzie Davis, Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth, Phil Lord, Nate Moore and Morgan Neville. On top of that, Jason Reitman, a Vidiots friend and supporter, is donating a 35mm projection system.
“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. “So grateful to be a small part of this evolving institution.”
Vidiots has also partnered with The Drafthouse on programming initiatives at the Austin-based exhibitor’s Video Vortex. The downtown theater, which opened in July, currently sells Vidiots merch. Vidiots also has a yearlong programming partnership with the Drafthouse and will kick off the series “Tales from the Video Store,” which will include special guests — filmmakers, critics and friends of Vidiots and Alamo Drafthouse — who will reminisce about the good ol’ days of video stores. On top of that, Vidiots is currently presenting a monthly 16mm series with Projections at the Bootleg Theater. Starting later this year and going into 2020, they will also feature programming partnerships with The Black List, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater and Cinema Eye Honors.
Upon its relaunch, Vidiots is looking to partner with Art House Convergence, Film Independent, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Outfest, Oxy Arts and the Occidental Media Arts & Culture Department, Sundance Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, Women in Film and Vidéothèque for programming.