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Vidiots, one of the last video rental shops in L.A., is closing

Written by
Brittany Martin

Film buff paradise Vidiots will be closing its Santa Monica location where they’ve been operating ever since two friends opened up the quirky video rental shop back in 1985, with 800 VHS tapes and a dream of sharing rare and interesting movies with the public.

Vidiots is run by the Vidiots Foundation, a non-profit film library and conservation organization, and currently holds more than 50,000 videos in their collection. Many of the tapes are of films not available on any other medium or platform. They focus on documentaries, cult flicks and strange and forgotten gems of movie history, making them available for rental to historians and general fans. In addition to the rental storefront, Vidiots also operates the Annex, a space for screenings and film events, which will also be closed. 

While the Santa Monica location is closing down on February 15, Santa Monica Lookout reports that the Vidiots Foundation hopes to find a new home and reopen in some capacity, probably around 2018. Until then, their collection of tapes will be tucked away in storage. 

This isn’t the first time it’s looked like the end for Vidiots. Back in 2015, they announced that they were shutting down, but they were saved with a last-minute donation of cash from Annapurna Pictures, a film production company owned by Megan Ellison. While that spared them from a complete closure, it hasn’t been enough to counter the rising costs of rent in Santa Monica and the decreasing numbers of customers for physical video rentals.

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