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Iconic Vidiots Video Store Closes its Doors, For Now

20 Feb, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Santa Monica, Calif.-based video rental store Vidiots closed its doors Feb. 15 after 32 years. The store held a farewell party Feb. 17. Vidiots plans to re-open in 2018 at a new location to be announced.

Co-founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, through the Vidiots Foundation, said they would spend the “cocooning” period to focus on its mission of fostering “meaningful human interaction around cinema,” preserving and providing access to its diverse and growing library of more than 50,000 films, and producing unique screening and education programs.

Vidiots, like other brick-and-mortar video stores, has seen business undermined by changing consumer habits in home entertainment, including subscription streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Indeed, revenue from disc rentals topped $2.4 billion in 2016, down nearly 18% from $3 billion in 2015, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. Video store revenue dropped more than 20% to less than $500 million.

The store received a reprieve in 2015 when producer Megan Ellison (Zero Dark Thirty, Foxcatcher) and Leonard Lipman, a local physician and longtime customer, offered a financial lifeline.

“Although leaving our home of over 30 years will be bittersweet, we are elated that Vidiots Foundation’s next chapter will ensure the preservation and growth of our vast film collection,” Polinger and Tauber said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming a new community and to reuniting with our long-standing customers and dedicated members in a new home.”

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