Alamo Drafthouse, a Texas-based cinema chain founded in 1997, will soon open a new location in Raleigh, North Carolina. The 11-screen facility will introduce audiences to Video Vortex, a reimagining of the classic video rental store that’ll be located right in the cinema’s lobby.
If you’re looking for a blast from the past, this is certainly it.
The Video Vortex collection consists of over 30,000 titles. While much of the store’s offerings will come on DVD and Blu-ray, the crown jewel of the collection is a massive selection of rare VHS tapes – some of which never made it to digital formats.
Don’t have a VCR? No worries, Alamo Drafthouse has you covered. The video rental store will also rent out VCRs (and of course, provide complementary RCA-to-HDMI adapters).
The inspiration for Video Vortex comes from Alamo Drafthouse’s long-running programming series which celebrates direct-to-video releases from the 1980s through the early 2000s. The series is curated by Joseph A. Ziemba who said it gives him great hope for humanity to see it grow from a series to an actual video store.
Resurrecting the traditional video store isn't going to dethrone titans like Netflix but as a niche concept, it could work. It plays up to the nostalgia of a certain generation and offers the local film community a way to see flicks that they might not otherwise have access to.
Alamo Drafthouse is also seeking help from the local community to run the store, manage the video collection and develop software for managing the collection and the rental process. Interested parties are encouraged to apply online or contact creative manager Steve Popson for more details.