Saturday, November 5, 2011


Video stores are not dead, although you may believe otherwise. Chain stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood may be blackening their windows daily, and Netflix may be keeping a steady flow of DVD's in your mailbox, and Redbox is there for those quick fixes. Streaming movies from your computer is a mainstay. But there is a place where, like what you remember from previous decades, dizzying rows of white metal racks filled with videos are there to browse.

Leave it to a town like Portland to keep the old school movie dream alive. Movie Madness on Belmont is not only a video store (and yes, they have actually VIDEO cassette tapes as well as DVDs and Blu-Ray) but a museum with costumes and props collected by the store's owner, Mike Clarke. They specialize in hard to find, which is how I came to find them, after 4 years of living here and never putting it together in my head what the red neon marquee was all about (I thought it where they showed old horror films.) My friend and I had a date to watch Dirty Dancing, which she owns, and National Lampoon's European Vacation, which is impossible to find at a big video store. The one's that still exist are packed with ridiculous amounts of the same lame-ass movies and racks of cheap movie-related promotional products and disgusting crap like Mountain Dew and ring pops to shove into your face while watching said lame-ass movie. Movie Madness has so many movies, divided into specialty sections, including their own special National Lampoon's section! They have a wall of every Best Picture from the beginning of the Oscars, massive foreign films, movies organized by actor or director, and freaky weird special interest stuff that you just have to browse yourself to fully absorb.

Business seems to be thriving, as I have waited there in long lines on Saturday nights and have also had to wait for movies like Little Shop of Horrors to be returned so I could sing "Skid Row" at the top of my lungs from the comfort of my living room. I tip my hat to this gem of an establishment, and promise I will see you again in three days for my next round of rentals, because now that daylight savings is falling us backward into long nights, there will be plenty of snuggly movie-watching happening under our roof.

1 comment:

  1. i just rediscovered movie madness!! so fun and tangible. it's been hard to hang out in the horror section with the boy, though. i have to figure out exactly what i want and where it is so that he's not stuck in Horror Corner for too long.