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Alamo Drafthouse to open video rental store with rare VHS tapes

It'll even rent the VCR you need to watch.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 19, 2017
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Alamo Drafthouse

Do you miss the days when finding a movie to watch meant browsing the local video store, hoping that you'd stumble across some rare gem? Alamo Drafthouse sure does. After amassing collections from small shops, the enthusiast-driven theater chain is opening a "reimagining" of rental stores, Video Vortex, that will sit in the lobby of the company's future Raleigh location. It'll include Blu-ray and DVD titles, but the real highlight will be a "massive" selection of rare VHS tapes, some of which never made the leap to digital. Alamo will even rent you a VCR (complete with an RCA-to-HDMI adapter), since you probably don't have one hooked up to your 4K TV.

You can also buy hand-picked Blu-ray titles, movie paraphernalia and Mondo releases. And the store will definitely live up to the "drafthouse" portion of Alamo Drafthouse -- there will be a lounge with 40 local draft beers.

This would be an odd move for just about any other known theater, but it makes sense for Alamo. Video Vortex earns its name from a longstanding series that celebrates the heyday of straight-to-video releases. And even if you're not familiar with Video Vortex, it's no secret that Alamo is devoted to preserving and fostering not-so-mainstream movies. And that might prove crucial with VHS. Many of the companies from that era either no longer exist or have no interest in converting an old, neglected movie to a modern format. If there's an obscure title you remember renting as a kid, this might be your only way of seeing it again.

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