History + Mission
L.A.’S NON-PROFIT VIDEO STORE SINCE 1985, RELAUNCHING AT THE EAGLE THEATRE
A one-of-a-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 our 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.
Vidiots Foundation has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access going back to our founding in 1985. We profoundly value and strive to reflect all the communities we serve, in one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Representation, inclusivity, and equity have been at the forefront of our work for 37 years. Our Founders, Cathy Tauber and Patty Polinger opened Vidiots in order to tap the deep well of artistry from all over the world, and showcase the widest array of artists and points of view from all backgrounds in an affordable and equitable way. This passion remains our guiding light in a fierce commitment to building an equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, anti-misogynist film culture open and accessible to all.
A Los Angeles film space founded and helmed by women, Vidiots was opened in Santa Monica as an alternative video store in 1985 by L.A. natives Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber. For nearly three decades, Vidiots thrived, growing its unique collection, and serving a far-reaching, diverse, and devoted community of film lovers. In 2012, reacting to seismic changes in the film landscape, Vidiots became a 501(c)3 non-profit. In 2017, in the wake of rising costs, Vidiots’ Board of Directors elected to store Vidiots’ 50,000-title collection, and shutter the iconic storefront with a plan to create a new, sustainable business model, and relaunch in a new location.
Vidiots’ new home, in the heart of Northeast L.A., opened in May 1929 as The Yosemite Theatre. The Yosemite became The Eagle Theatre in 1940 and went on to serve generations of audiences for 70 years before going dark and transitioning to a church in the early 2000s.
In spite of all the challenges presented by a global pandemic, Vidiots launched construction on the Eagle in July of 2020. To date, Team Vidiots has invested over $1,000,000 to lovingly rehabilitate our beautiful and historic new home. Alongside our incredible partners Analog Construction, Wick Architecture, and LAND Design Studio, we are proudly readying the Eagle to welcome back audiences, and raise new generations of film lovers in the flickering lights.
With almost-11,000 square feet of entertainment, social, and educational space, Vidiots is planning to operate seven-days-a-week and offer a full calendar of screenings and special programs, the full video store with DVD and BluRay rentals, concessions, and a light menu with beer and wine. The Eagle Theatre, with 250 seats, 35mm and DCP projection, and state-of-the-art sound, will provide flexibility for a variety of eclectic events, signature series, and tastemaker screenings. A second, smaller, flexible community and event space, with DCP projection and state-of-the-art sound, will be ideal for screenings, education programs, workshops, community events, and small receptions.