More than any other genre of film fans, the horror community seems to have a really special bond with the days of video stores. For many of us, that’s where we first fell in love with horror. Walking up and down the aisles being mesmerized by the fascinating VHS horror artwork, hoping and praying that the actual films would live up to the gruesome illustrations. We may have ended up disappointed with our selections more often than not, but that hardly mattered. It was about the experience.
Video stores have begun to fade away as streaming services have gained steam. Unfortunately, the more popular streaming gets, the less viewing options we actually have. Streaming services like to sell audiences on their convenience and viewing options but that’s merely a façade. Sure, streaming is easy, providing you don’t have any internet issues, but the options are incredibly limited. Your only options are what those controlling the streaming services provide and they ain’t providing much. The good news is there are some video stores still holding strong.
One of those videos stores still thriving today is Movie Madness located in Portland, Or. Movie Madness first opened it’s doors in 1991 and has become a Portland institution. With more than 80,000 titles to choose from on a variety of formats, Movie Madness has a selection that far surpasses anything you’ll find on Netflix or Amazon. In addition to the film selection Movie Madness has an onsite museum full of movie memorabilia. Stepping inside Movie Madness isn’t just stepping inside a video store, it’s walking into the history of cinema.
Movie Madness is holding strong, but they need our help to continue. Longtime owner Mike Clark is ready to retire and he’s going to sell the store and his collection to Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre. The Hollywood does need some help, however. In order to purchase the legendary video store Hollywood needs to raise $250,000 by November 10th. That’s a lot of money in a fairly short period of time, but it’s doable. The Hollywood launched a Kickstarter to raise the finds and at the time of this writing has already raised over $33k and it’s only been live for a few hours.
This is a match made in film geek heaven. Two legendary forces are joining together for the greater good of the film community. Movie Madness will take you back to the days when video stores ruled supreme and the Hollywood Theatre is the best movie theater in the world.
Hollywood has a bunch of cool plans for Movie Madness. First and foremost, they’re going to roll into their non-profit. Then they’ll do the following:
- We’ll expand our popular membership program to include benefits at Movie Madness.
- We’ll explore community engagement opportunities through construction of a new screening room and the development of new partnerships.
- We’ll partner with Free Geek to provide affordable access to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray players.
- We’ll continue to preserve and grow the collection, adding new releases and found treasures to ensure that Movie Madness remains a “living collection” that reflects the diverse interests and perspectives of the community it serves.
This is just a small sample of what the Hollywood has in store. I highly encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter campaign to see the full details and to donate some money if you have any to spare. There are plenty of great rewards available and most will ship anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t leave in the Portland area it’s important to support video stores like Movie Madness and theaters like the Hollywood Theatre. Their continued success is a victory for film lovers everywhere.