In Williamsburg, a Video Store Becomes a Movie Theater

11/09/2012 9:20 AM |


Videology, the Southside video store, reopens today after a brief closure for renovations transformed into a bar and screening room. There’ll be a party and a screening of Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, which starts a weeklong run. We spoke to Zach Clark, who’ll be programming the space, about what people can expect—and how they’ll still be able to rent movies.

Can you give us a sense of what the space will look like? Will it feel like going to a movie theater or sitting in a video store?
The screening room will seat about 35 people, and it definitely won’t feel like watching a movie in a video store. We’ll have comfy chairs, a few booths, and table space for people’s drinks and popcorn.

Will this space move Videology away from rentals? Or will that part of the business remain unchanged?
We’ll actually still have movies available for rent, but the inventory itself will be moving out of sight into the basement. The entire catalog will be browsable on iPads we’ll have up in the space. So if you come out to Holy Motors and feel inspired, you can walk home with copies of Boy Meets Girl and Pola X in your pocket.

What kind of work will you program? Will it be like reRun in DUMBO?
We’re playing a little bit of everything. We’ll be doing weeklongs of new stuff, opening up with a week of Leos Carax’s Holy Motors and following that with the theatrical premiere of Benjamin Dickinson’s First Winter, which posits what twentysomething Brooklynites might do after the apocalypse. We’re also showing kids movies and midnight movies on the weekends, a Rock Hudson double feature to benefit filmmaker Mark Rappaport, a screening of Grey Gardens with Albert Maysles in person, several ongoing monthly series including an evening of slumber party movies co-presented with BUST magazine, and lots of other fun stuff.

Not too long ago Williamsburg had no movie theaters; now it’ll have you, Spectacle, Nitehawk, Indie Screen. Do you think there’s a risk of the neighborhood becoming oversaturated?
I think if there was a sudden surge in multiplexes there would be a risk, but all these theaters are doing their own thing.

Why are we seeing a rise in these kinds of small unconventional theaters?
Videology has been providing Williamsburg with movies for almost a decade now, and with the video store going the way of the drive-in, it just made sense to become a theater. The digital age has made setting up this type of thing more achievable than it’s ever been, and we’re taking that opportunity to set up a fun, cool space where people can come watch some great movies they may or may not have heard of.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart