Vidiots, the beloved Santa Monica video-store-turned-film-nonprofit, will reopen next fall as a store and movie theater in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood.
The nonprofit announced on Monday that it would restore the 90-year-old, 200-seat Eagle Theatre to its original purpose as an independent theater with state-of-the-art sound and projection, and offer a full program of repertory titles, indies, hard-to-find titles, classics and community-driven programs. An adjacent storefront will house Vidiots’ 50,000-plus DVD, BluRay and VHS collection for rental.
The Santa Monica brick-and-mortar on Pico Boulevard was shuttered in early 2017, and the titles had been in storage since then. The store was well regarded for the expertise of its staff.
“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,” Vidiots executive director Maggie Mackay said. “Bringing the Eagle Theatre back and providing L.A. with a long-needed new film space is thrilling.”
The location will also have a second screening room for film programs, educational workshops and special events. Vidiots is currently fundraising and looking for donors. Founding members to date 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. Director Jason Reitman 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,” Reitman said. “Thank you! So grateful to be a small part of this evolving institution.”
At one point, the space was set to be transformed into a movie/restaurant venture in early 2003.
The news was first reported by Deadline.