Pop Culture News

Vidiots Foundation Set To Open June 1 at Historic Eagle Theater in Los Angeles!

Vidiots, the beloved Los Angeles video store and non-profit film organization, has completed renovations on its new home, the historic Eagle Theatre in L.A.’s beautiful Eagle Rock neighborhood, and will open June 1, 2023. Sneak preview events for Vidiots’ “Founding Members” and supporters will be held in May.

“We’re overjoyed to finally see our dream of bringing Vidiots back to Los Angeles,” said Vidiots founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber. “We could not have accomplished this incredible feat without the loyal and steadfast support of a community truly devoted to cinema and creating a space for new generations to be inspired and enlightened by the arts, and where they can fall in love with film as we have.”

Bringing the much-loved community movie house back to its original purpose, and restoring public access to its treasured 50,000-title physical media library, Vidiots’ new home, located at 4884 Eagle Rock Boulevard, will include a 271-seat, state-of-the-art movie theater (35mm, 16mm, and digital projection), a beer and wine bar with concessions and a light menu, a flexible micro-cinema and community space, and of course, the legendary video store. The almost-11,000 square-foot venue will provide flexibility for various screenings, special events, workshops, and community gatherings.

Vidiots will operate seven-days-a week, producing a full calendar of affordable repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics, special events with partners, all-ages programming, and year-round education and preservation initiatives reflective of its mission. Community and programming partnerships are being planned with A Bunch of Savages, Bob Baker Marionette Theater, IFC Films and Shudder, KCRW, Lionsgate, Monkeypaw Productions, MUBI, Outfest, rePROFilm, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and Women in Film, among many others. Vidiots’ line-up of opening months’ screenings and events will be shared in the coming weeks.

“There are not enough words to describe our gratitude for the incredible community that’s rallied around us for so many years, making the dream of our reopening a reality,” said Executive Director Maggie Mackay. “We’re counting the seconds until we can welcome all of L.A. and beyond back to the video store and the beautiful Eagle Theatre. In our corner of Northeast L.A., film will once again thrive as the social, communal, inspiring, life-changing art form it has been for over 100 years.”

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 2012, Vidiots remains hard at work to reach its capital campaign goal to open and operate the newly restored Eagle Theatre. The organization’s groundbreaking relaunch would not be possible without the support of Vidiots’ Founding Members, Corporate Sponsors, Annual Members, donors at all levels, and Vidiots’ earliest supporters Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and Dr. Leonard Lipman. Vidiots invites individual and corporate Founding Members to join the organization until Vidiots’ public opening in June. Founding Member levels start at $5,000.

Vidiots Founding Members include Miguel and Justine Arteta, Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass, Ike Barinholtz, Lake Bell, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder, Jen and Jay Duplass, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Charlie Day, Jerrika Hinton, Mette-Marie Kongsved and Elijah Wood, Karina Longworth and Rian Johnson, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Max Minghella, Nate Moore, Morgan Neville, Ify Nwadiwe, Patton Oswalt, Amy Pascal, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Scheer and June Diane Raphael, Noah Segan and Alison Bennett, Sharon Van Etten, Jessica Williams, and Alex Winter, among many more.

Corporate Founding Members and Sponsors include A24, Abramorama, Alamo Drafthouse, All Facts, Chifa ??, Cinetic Media, Criterion Collection, Facet, Final Draft, GKIDS, IFC Films and Shudder, Kindman & Co., Letterboxd, Level Forward, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, Monkeypaw Productions, MUBI, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Paramount Pictures, Pascal Pictures, Pipeline Media Group, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures, Superbloom, UTA, Utopia Media, Vinegar Syndrome, Ways & Means, Writers Guild of America West, and ZEISS, among others. Foundation support comes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and National Association of Theater Owners California/Nevada. Gracious in-kind donors include Dolby, Dunn-Edwards, Fever Content, Fireclay Tile, Gumball Poodle, QSC, Stone Source, Thunderwing Studio, and Jason Reitman, who provided a 35mm projection system.

The Vidiots Board of Directors is Vidiots Founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, Vidiots Board Chair Mary Rohlich (Head of TV and Film, Purple Pebble Pictures), Vidiots Executive Director Maggie Mackay, Vidiots Treasurer Susan Garbett (General Manager, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return), Vidiots Secretary Claudia Puig (President, Los Angeles Film Critics Association), Norma Manzanares (Film & TV Marketing Executive), Lela Meadow-Conner (Creative Producer/Founder, mamafilm), Rachel O’Connor (President of Film and Television, Pascal Pictures), and Naomi Ramsey (Experiential Marketing Consultant).

Jeffrey Birkmeyer and his company Analog, a multifaceted real estate and construction company, is Vidiots’ development partner and contractor. David Wick of Wick Architecture and Design, and Andrew Lindley of LAND Design Studio are Vidiots’ architecture and design partners. Film, D-Cinema, and event space projection and sound consulting, design, and installation are led by Paul D. Smith, Jr. of D-MATION INC. Hubbub Manufacturing, a San Francisco-based advertising agency, has assisted Vidiots with fundraising efforts and social media creative.

About Vidiots and the Eagle Theatre:
A one-of-a-kind hub for film lovers, filmmakers, and everyone curious about cinema, Vidiots is dedicated to inspiring human interaction around film through communal theatrical presentations and preserving, growing, and providing access to its diverse DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection, showcasing the work of emerging, master, and underrepresented artists, and producing unique and affordable film events, and vital education programs.

A brick-and-mortar film space founded by women, Vidiots was opened as an alternative video store in 1985 by L.A. natives Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber. For 32 years, Vidiots served its devoted community via an iconic Santa Monica storefront. In the wake of rising costs, Vidiots shuttered in 2017. With the generous and unwavering support of major donor Annapurna Pictures, which went on to umbrella the organization for two years, Vidiots was able to store its collection and devise an extensive plan for sustainable relaunch.

Vidiots’ new home originally opened in May, 1929 as the Yosemite Theatre. The Yosemite operated as an independent movie house under that banner until 1940, when it became the Eagle Theatre. Aside from a short stint in the 1970s as a Pussycat Theater (California’s infamous adult cinema chain), the Eagle served audiences as a beloved neighborhood movie house until 2000, when it was repurposed as a church. Vidiots Foundation became proud stewards of the theater in September, 2019. Vidiots has remodeled and rehabilitated the Eagle as a public cinema, video store, and community space, opening June, 2023.

Vidiots Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts to Vidiots are tax deductible as allowed by law. To learn more and support visit vidiotsfoundation.org. Follow @vidiots on Instagram and Twitter, and @vidiotsvideo on Facebook for updates!