Videoport: A Short Doc (2016)

videoportKids today will never understand the joy of going to the local video store and spending hours within the aisles of your favorite titles just to find something to bring home. I fondly remember walking through my local video shop watching a graphic horror movie on a mounted television while my parents staggered to the counter with a stack of titles they planned to bring home to watch that night. And no, I don’t speak of “Blockbuster” video. I speak of actual video stores that were once as common as Laundromats.

Running for nearly three decades, production company p3 explores the beginning and painful end of one of Maine’s most popular and beloved communities for film lovers “Videoport.” With the advent of digital rental and streaming, every year more and more beloved video rental spots are closing down and “Videoport” is sadly one of the many to close down. What with almost twenty thousand movies to rent, and three decades of building a community and massive fan base, it stings to think that the store may be replaced by an outlet or discount store by a faceless entity.

“Videoport” explores in a nut shell how much the once prominent video rental store was a beacon, not just for discovering unusual films, but for commuting alongside like minded people. Many of the individuals interviewed for the documentary discuss how they met their significant others, and built lifelong friendships, only to see it now dissipate with time. “Videoport” ends on a bittersweet note with the curators of the store donating their entire catalogue to the local library, making it available to a new generation of film aficionados. It’s their last noble favor to a community that they’ve helped nurture for thirty years.