Tag: baltimore video collective

Video Americain Finally Admits Defeat, Will Close Roland Park Location

Ryan Gosling looking for someone to blame in the death of a Baltimore institution
Ryan Gosling looking for someone to blame for the death of a Baltimore institution

We can’t pretend this is much of a surprise, but the news nevertheless stings: Video Americain’s Roland Park location — its last — will close. Unless they can come up with $70,000 to $90,000 to preserve the 35,000-title movie library under new stewardship, they will begin selling off their inventory piece by piece in October.

Now, you’re probably asking, “Does this mean my children and/or grandchildren grow up with no fond memories of going to the video store?” Maybe not. There is a group in Baltimore whose goal is to set up a sustainable, not-for-profit, art-housey, brick-and-mortar video rental library in the city.

Baltimore Video Collective Launch Party


Earlier this year, Baltimore lost a friend. One March evening, devotees of the Charles Village Video Americain gathered on the patch of grass outside and held a vigil as the video store shut its doors for the last time. Attendees wore black; candles were lit. And with the passing of this lonely outpost of brick-and-mortar video store culture, many of us resigned ourselves to joining the ranks of Netflix subscribers—those very same who everyday walk the streets with Video Americain’s blood on their hands. So it goes. But wait! Here come the cavalry! And what are they bringing? A worker-owned, collectively run space that will provide video rentals, archives, and educational events to the Baltimore community.

In the wake of the Charles Village location closing (yes, the one in Roland Park is still open), a dedicated group of Americain employees joined forces with local Maryland Film Festival big wigs and set about hatching plans for the Baltimore Video Collective. So far, the collective has amassed about 1000 titles (including most of the Criterion Collection). Right now, they’re looking to grow that collection to about 5000 while finding a space to call home. This Saturday the BVC will host their launch party—a sort of coming out—at the Windup Space. The event includes comedy performances, DJing, and of course, video screenings by local artists. If you want to support this worthy endeavor and rub elbows with other Netflix holdouts, this is absolutely the place to be this weekend. Also, you can grab a DVD off your shelf and donate it at the event for a discount on admission; because as we all (even film nerds) know—it takes a village.

The Baltimore Video Collective launch party will take place on Saturday, December 1st at 8pm at the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave. in Baltimore). Admission is $8, or $5 if you bring a DVD to donate.

Non-profit Baltimore Video Collective Wants to Fill a Cultural Void


I know I’m not the only one who experienced a lifestyle shift after Video Americain closed its Charles Village location — I used to spend my afternoons talking movies and local cultural happenings with the many friendly and interesting clerks there. Now when my son Asher gets cranky in our cramped apartment, he’s more likely to be consoled by YouTube videos of Elmo than by a brisk walk to the 3100 block of St. Paul.