Latest posts by Chris Findlay (see all)
- The Hollywood Theatre Needs Help Saving the Iconic Movie Madness - 12th October 2017
- Beyond Skyline: The Next Good Sequel to a Bad Movie? - 11th October 2017
- Saturday Morning Cartoons: 11 Fun Facts About He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - 5th August 2017
For many of us film fans, our earliest and most cherished memories are of time spent in video stores, perusing aisles of VHS tapes, begging our parents to rent us the ones with the coolest cover art. A lot of the time, the art would be better than the film itself, but the risk was always worth it. There’s a special bond between film fans and video stores; and for many of us, there’s a longing for that wondrous feeling to return.
Founded in 1991 by Mike Clarke, Portland’s Movie Madness is an institution dedicated to celebrating and preserving cinema in its various forms. From celebrated classics to Z-grade schlock and everything in between, the store is a labyrinth of movies and related memorabilia. It born from a love of cinema to give like-minded people a place to celebrate that passion. This excellent article by Cameron Crowell of the Portland Mercury offers more insight than I ever could, but I’m not the only nerd located in another time zone that’s upset to hear that a pillar of our beloved community might have to close its doors and lose the library it’s spent decades collecting.
Fortunately, The Hollywood Theatre has shown interest in purchasing Movie Madness to ensure that its vast and diverse collection remains available for years to come. The only downside is that it costs quite a lot of money to obtain such a library and they need our help. Should their campaign be successful, 80,000 titles will find a good home.
On top of that, the store in its current incarnation will remain open for the foreseeable future and the staff will keep their jobs. Most people who work in video stories do it entirely for the love, and their knowledge makes for some great conversations and friendships. Some of my favourite movies were recommended to me from other folks who spend too much time looking for those rare cinematic gems. I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say that, either.
But video stores like this are few and far between these days. We sure as hell don’t have many in Scotland. While streaming services are useful, their selection is limited and doesn’t represent the larger canvas of cinema as a whole. Movie Madness was built on the idea of trying to cover as much ground as possible — and if the potential new owners are successful, they’ll continue to adhere to these principles.
If you’d like to contribute then you can do so by donating to their Kickstarter campaign. If not, share the link around and help spread the word.