Growing up, every Friday was “Blockbuster Day.” It was a treat at the end of the school week’s rainbow, my mom would pick me up from my after-school program and we’d round Glendale Ave. towards 16th street, the last of the evening’s sun glinting across the dashboard. Our destination was the Blockbuster Video across from the Shogun Express and Rainbow Cleaners (the lone survivor in the complex, today), to take home a tape to illuminate the blue glow of my parent’s television set, melting my childhood worries. Admittedly, I don’t create that same type of time, now that I’m older. The ritual has changed. Perhaps it’s also due to the changing landscape of the places I find movies, which aren’t places at all. Streaming services have made the “trip to the video store” as convenient as clicking a button, across a list of choices with no horizon.
I don’t celebrate “Blockbuster Day” anymore, but I do miss the aisles of tapes that were as tall as redwoods when I was young, and the joy of getting lost and not minding that I was lost. I would turn over boxes in my hands, wondering if the glossy pictures on its covers were enough to reward my faith in handing them to my mom and asking, “Can we rent these?”
When my dear friend Maggie Mackay, Executive Director of Vidiots Foundation, shared the news that a Vidiots re-launch would be taking place in 2020, I was honored to design this piece of commemorative art. After shuttering their original space in 2017, Vidiots will be returning to Los Angeles with almost 10,000 square feet of educational and entertainment space, awakening my childhood memories of losing one’s self in the aisles. Maggie says it best: “A one-of-kind hub for film lovers, filmmakers, and everyone curious about cinema, 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 and master artists, and producing unique film events and vital education programs.”
2020 can’t arrive soon enough.