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Alamo Drafthouse is launching a crazy new thing called a "video store"

(Photo: Getty Images, Craig Mitchelldyer)

Everybody knows that watching a movie in 2017 is as easy as renting something on Amazon, logging onto Netflix only to realize that there’s nothing good, or pulling the dust-covered DVD box out of your storage unit, but the Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, is planning to launch a revolutionary new movie distribution platform called a “video store.” Like a monstrous Redbox, this “video store” will be a physical location that people can walk inside, where they will browse a selection of movies in old-fashioned formats like DVD and Blu-ray. Once they’ve found something they’d like to watch, they can rent it and take it home, then return it to the store later. There may even be a selection of movie snacks and an employee with very well-informed cinematic opinions who would love nothing more than to offer insight on your selection.

The video store at the Raleigh Drafthouse will be called Video Vortex, with the name coming from a long-running Alamo Drafthouse programming series dedicated to straight-to-video movies. This comes from Variety, which says people will even be able to rent movies on a high-tech movie containment device called a “VHS tape,” which they can watch on rentable “VCR” machines. These VHS tapes don’t have animated menus or scene selection capabilities, but they do allow you to take part in a unique experience called “rewinding”—a process that literally involves winding the tape in reverse.


The Video Vortex, along with its much-hyped collection of rare VHS tapes, will open early next year.

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