Vidiots Foundations launches renovation of L.A.’s Eagle Theatre for Spring 2022 re-opening
Vidiots, the iconic L.A. video store and non-profit film organization, has started major renovations on its new home, the Eagle Theatre in L.A.’s beautiful Eagle Rock neighborhood. Vidiots anticipates a nine-month construction period for a Spring 2022 Grand Opening.
Vidiots Founding Members Karina Longworth and Rian Johnson have pledged $100,000 to the organization as a Matching Campaign that will run through September 17, 2021. Gifts of all sizes donated or pledged to Vidiots by September 17, 2021 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. Longworth is a celebrated author and creator of the You Must Remember This podcast, and Johnson is the award-winning filmmaker of Knives Out, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, and many more.
“Given the recent demise or transformation of some of our most beloved places for moviegoing in Los Angeles, it feels more urgent than ever to celebrate and support the rebirth of Vidiots. We hope you’ll join us in helping the women of Vidiots build an inclusive shrine to movies — both projected in a community setting, and preserved on physical media.”Karina Longworth and Rian Johnson
“The past year has only solidified our belief that film spaces designed to foster human interaction and artistic discovery are vital to inspiring the next generation of storytellers and audiences. With Karina and Rian’s unparalleled support, and the incredible generosity of all our Founding Members and film-loving supporters, Vidiots will once again be the film hub L.A. needs.” – Vidiots Founders Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, and Executive Director Maggie Mackay
Vidiots is renovating the 92-year-old Eagle Theatre and bringing it back to its original purpose as an independent movie house. At its new home, Vidiots will operate a 250-seat state-of-the-art theater with 35mm and digital projection, concessions and a light menu with beer and wine, and Vidiots’ legendary video store with 50,000+ titles for rental on DVD and BluRay. The almost-11,000 square-foot venue will provide flexibility for various screenings and events, and additional space for smaller screenings, educational workshops, and community gatherings. Vidiots will operate seven-days-a week and produce a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics, special events with partner organizations, all-ages programming, and year-round education and preservation initiatives reflective of its mission.
Vidiots’ has raised over $1 million of its total $2.5 million goal. Gifts of all sizes support Vidiots’ rehabilitation of the Eagle, relaunch of the video store, and Vidiots’ year-round programming. In addition to year-round supporters at all levels, Vidiots welcomes new Founding Members to join as the organization raises an additional $1.5 million before opening in Spring 2022.
Alongside Longworth and Johnson are Founding Members Miguel and Justine Arteta, Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass, Ike Barinholtz, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder, Mackenzie Davis, Jen and Jay Duplass, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Charlie Day, Sean Fennessey, Dana Gould, Liz Hannah, Phil Lord, 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, and Alex Winter, among many more.
Corporate Founding Members and Sponsors include Alamo Drafthouse, Criterion Collection, Final Draft, GKIDS, Letterboxd, Lionsgate, MUBI, Script Pipeline, Shout! Factory, UTA, Utopia, Vinegar Syndrome, and ZEISS among others. Vidiots friend and supporter Jason Reitman is graciously donating a 35mm projection system, and QSC has donated a fully integrated cinema audiovisual system, including the Q-SYS audio, video & control platform, which provides all the signal routing, audio processing and system-wide control.
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 The House of Eternal Return), Vidiots Secretary Claudia Puig (President, Los Angeles Film Critics Association), Lela Meadow-Conner (Executive Director, Film Festival Alliance/Founder, mamafilm), Danièle Neuharth (Senior Director of Regional Giving, RAND Corporation), 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 PD Smith, Jr. of D-MATION INC. Hubbub Manufacturing, a San Francisco based advertising agency, is helping Vidiots with fundraising efforts and general noise-making and creative assets on all social media platforms.
Vidiots is dedicated to inspiring human interaction around film through 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 Los Angeles brick-and-mortar film space founded and helmed 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 its iconic Santa Monica storefront. In the wake of rising costs, Vidiots shuttered in 2017, planning to relaunch with a new, sustainable business model.
Vidiots’ new home, originally conceived for both vaudeville and silent film, opened in May 1929 as The Yosemite Theatre. The Yosemite fully transitioned to sound in 1930, and operated as an independent movie house under that banner until 1940, when it became The Eagle Theatre. The Eagle served audiences until 2000, when it was repurposed as a church.
Vidiots has continued programming and producing in-person and virtual events during its brick-and-mortar transition, including collaborations with Alamo Drafthouse, Rooftop Cinema Club, and The Theatre at Ace Hotel; a monthly virtual Movie Trivia Night in partnership with MUBI; an Instagram Live series with Karina Longworth and You Must Remember This; and a 2021 virtual Tribute and Conversation series with OscarⓇ winners and nominees including Mollye Asher (Nomadland); Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas, and Will Berson (Judas and the Black Messiah), and Florian Zeller (The Father).
Vidiots Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, gifts to Vidiots are tax deductible as allowed by law. To learn more and make a donation visit vidiotsfoundation.org.