Sure, watching all three hours and 15 minutes of Titanic without getting up to switch tapes halfway through is convenient. But even in the age of streaming, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for the bulky, temperamental VHS tapes you grew up with. Alamo Drafthouse feels your pain, and they're responding with a new brick-and-mortar store where you can rent movies on VHS likes it's 1999.
As Variety reports, Video Vortex will be part of the theater chain’s upcoming 11-screen location in Raleigh, North Carolina. With more than 30,000 short films, features, and TV series on VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray in its inventory, the store is set to be one of the biggest video archives in existence. In addition to the classics, it will also feature rare VHS titles that were never made available on digital platforms.
Video Vortex will work just like the video rental stores you remember: After browsing the tapes you can pick out the movies you want to watch, rent them, then return them to the store after a certain number of days. Customers checking out DVDs and Blu-Rays will also have the option to return them by mail à la the early days of Netflix/the final days of Blockbuster. And because VHS technology isn’t as common as it was when video rental stores last dominated strip malls, Alamo is making another item available to rent: functioning VCRs, complete with RCA adapters.
Fans of all things retro will be have the opportunity to rent from Video Vortex when it opens early next year. Just don’t forget to be kind and rewind if you’ve fallen out of the habit.