In a time when America needs arts and culture more than ever, Los Angeles will soon lose access to one of its largest collections of films.
The “rising costs” of running a business in Santa Monica have finally proved too much—Vidiots, one of LA’s last video rental stores still in operation, will close its doors February 15, reports the Santa Monica Lookout.
But, there’s good news: Vidiots’ founders are searching for a new location, a “widely accessible Los Angeles location,” and they are aiming to open by 2018.
The video store has been serving Westside cinefiles since 1985, when it had just 800 VHS tapes on the shelves. Over the next three decades, that collection ballooned to over 50,000 titles, and it attracted a loyal fan base for the store.
While the vast and thoughtfully curated movie selection allowed Vidiots to outlive chains such as Blockbuster, the popularity of home-streaming services eventually started to put a dent in the store’s bottom line. Vidiots came close to going belly up in 2015, but was rescued by a generous donation from Megan Ellison and her company, Annapurna Pictures.
Until a new Vidiots location opens, the tens of thousands of movies that make up its archive will be “held in safe storage” awaiting the day they can be screened again.
- Vidiots Leaving Santa Monica [Santa Monica Lookout]