Updated: Oct 5
In September 2019, a video store named Vidiots announced that they would be opening a new location in Eagle Rock. With renovations and the COVID-19 pandemic, it took four years, but now we have a phenomenal theater and video store in our neighborhood, just a few blocks away from Eagle Rock High. However, this new venue has left many people wondering: What really is Vidiots? What do we know about the location before this one? How is this new venue going to impact our community? What goals do Vidiots have for the future?
The original Vidiots location was founded in Santa Monica in 1985 by Cathy Tauber and Patty Polinger. Saila Reyes, current director of marketing & programming at Vidiots, said that it was founded because “[the founders] didn’t want to work for men anymore.” Originally, Vidiots was just a video store and not yet a movie theater. Reyes describes the collection as including “international titles…and all the stuff that wasn’t at Blockbuster and Hollywood video.” They specialized in having movies that weren’t found at popular video stores. Vidiots was a popular place until 2017 when the business unfortunately had to shut down due to increasing rent prices.
However, in 2019, Vidiots found a new location at a theater in Eagle Rock which formerly held two other movie theaters called “Eagle Theatre” and “Yosemite Theatre.” They started the renovation process and finally reopened in June of 2023. The location includes a video store with over 50,000 movies and a theater with 271 seats. The original Vidiots location “shut down as a business and reopened as a nonprofit,” says Reyes. She describes that they “had to fundraise a whole capital campaign so that [they] could afford to open in Eagle Rock.” The new model of a nonprofit will hopefully help them to stay in business even longer than the original location.
Being located only a few blocks away from our school, Vidiots has become a popular place to watch movies or rent DVDs. Containing thousands of titles, they are an amazing location to discover new movies and hang out with friends. They play a large variety of movies very regularly. You can go on weekdays or weekends, and enjoy the snacks for sale at the concession stand.
In the future, Vidiots aspires “to help other people to [create places similar to Vidiots] in their communities.” Other video stores and theaters like Vidiots will hopefully start popping up all over the country, and we will have more positive spaces like it in neighborhoods everywhere. Eventually, we may even have venues all over the world to help preserve movies for future generations.