(Los Angeles, September 30, 2019) - Vidiots, the iconic L.A. video store-turned-film nonprofit, will relaunch in Fall of 2020 as an expanded entertainment, social, and community space at its new home, the historic Eagle Theatre in Los Angeles’ beautiful Eagle Rock neighborhood.
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), Vidiots will offer a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics and community-driven programs. An expansive adjacent storefront will house Vidiots’ 50,000+ DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection for rental. The location will also have a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art second screening room for film programs, educational workshops, and special events. Vidiots will collaborate with the best local food and beverage partners to provide an exciting and ever-changing culinary menu.
Vidiots is currently fundraising and identifying Cornerstone Donors and Corporate Partners for naming rights. Vidiots is also inviting First-In Founding Members to join the Vidiots family. Generous 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. Vidiots friend and supporter Jason Reitman is graciously donating a 35mm projection system.
“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. 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 + 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. In a world remade by streaming, it’s never been more important to preserve access to physical media for all.” -- Karina Longworth and Rian Johnson
“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.” -- Jason Reitman
"Their efforts towards creating community and preservation made Vidiots legendary in L.A. and I’m so excited to see their philosophy and energy reincarnated in a brick-and-mortar film space on the East Side. I can’t wait to spend all my time there." -- Mackenzie Davis
Recently, Vidiots launched a programming partnership with Alamo Drafthouse L.A. with the series “Tales From the Video Store.” Vidiots is currently presenting a monthly 16mm series with Projections at the Bootleg Theater. New programming partnerships with The Black List, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and Cinema Eye Honors will launch late 2019/early 2020.
Future programming and partner organizations include 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.
Jeffrey Birkmeyer and his company Analog (www.analog-la.com), a multifaceted real estate and construction company, is Vidiots' development partner and will provide support throughout the project.
The Vidiots Board of Directors is Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, Vidiots Founders; Executive Director Maggie Mackay; Danièle Neuharth, Director of Development, RAND Corporation; Rachel O’Connor, President of Film and Television, Pascal Pictures; Claudia Puig, President, Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and independent film and television producer Mary Rohlich.
About Vidiots and The Eagle Theatre:
Vidiots -- reinventing video store culture for the 21st Century.
A one-of-kind hub for film lovers, filmmakers, and everyone curious about cinema, Vidiots is dedicated to inspiring human interaction around film through preserving, growing, and providing access to its diverse DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection, showcasing the work of emerging and master artists, and producing unique film events and vital education programs.
A Los Angeles brick-and-mortar film space founded and helmed by women, Vidiots was opened as an alternative video store in 1985 by L.A. natives Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber. For 32 years Vidiots served its devoted community via the iconic Santa Monica storefront, which shuttered in 2017 in the wake of rising costs. With the generous and unwavering support of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures (which became a major donor in 2015, along with Vidiots customer Dr. Leonard Lipman), Vidiots was able to store its collection and devise an extensive plan for sustainable relaunch in a new home.
Vidiots’ new home, originally conceived as a vaudeville stage, first opened in May 1929 as The Yosemite Theatre. After a few short days, the Yosemite re-opened as an independent silent movie theater, and a year later it transitioned to sound. In 1940, The Yosemite became The Eagle Theatre. From 1976 to 1979, the theater ran as a Pussycat, part of the infamous adult cinema chain. In 1983, The Eagle once again became a traditional independent cinema, and operated into the 1990s before becoming a series of churches.
With almost-10,000 square feet of entertainment and educational space, Vidiots will operate seven days a week and offer daily screenings and special programs, the full video store with DVD and BluRay rentals, concessions, and a light menu with beer and wine. The main theater (200+ seats, an ample stage, 35mm, DCP, and state-of-the-art sound) will provide flexibility for various screenings and tastemaker events. A second, smaller screening and event space (approximately 50 seats with DCP projection) will be ideal for screenings, workshops, and receptions.
Vidiots Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, gifts to Vidiots are tax deductible as allowed by law. To make a donation and sign up for email blasts, visit vidiotsfoundation.org. Follow @vidiots on social for programming announcements, news, and Eagle updates!
Maggie Mackay, Executive Director, Vidiots Foundation, email@example.com
Emily Lu Aldrich, Accolade Publicity and Consulting, Emily@AccoladePR.com