Movie Madness has a library of 80,000 DVDs and VHS tapes. If they don’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist. Most Mom & Pop stores went out of business a long time ago, killed by Blockbuster and Hollywood video. (Both dead now, and it serves them right!) But even for a cult store like this, times are hard in the rental business. Most people are satisfied with the pitiful handful of movies available at Redbox, or the only slightly better selections at the various streaming services. If they go under, where will anyone go to see Doris Wishman’s epic Nude on the Moon? I mean, they have more movies in the special interest sections—LGBTQ or British Television or “psychotronic” really weird stuff—than you used to find in Blockbuster!
The store has been operating at a loss for several years now. Mike Clark, who opened the store in 1991 and turned it into the Portland institution it is now, wants to retire, and sell his stock, appraised at $585,000, to the non-profit Hollywood Theater for $250,000. They will be able to keep running the store. The Hollywood is the best venue in town for some rather odd movies, as well as first-run stuff. Many of the screenings are in 70MM, something no one else in town has. Mike will continue to exhibit his amazing collection of Hollywood props and costumes, including such items as the pants worn by Frank Morgan as Professor Marvel in The Wizard of Oz, and James Cagney’s tap shoes worn in Yankee Doodle Dandy.
A Kickstarter campaign aims to raise the quarter million. The good news is that they have already got to $234,712! The bad news is that the goal must be reached by November 10, 2017 or it was all for nothing. I know very few of you live in the Portland area, but you might want to visit sometime. If you should be so moved, here is the Kickstarter site.
If you want to get a glimpse of the cinematic glories to be found in this movie-lovers’ paradise, here is there site.
October 18, 2017
Update: Movie Madness got saved!
October 23, 2017