Few entrepreneurs would opt to open a brick-and-mortar VHS outlet in 2017, but Los Angeles-based video collective Everything is Terrible! is temporarily reviving the business model, and adding an absurdist, ‘90s-inspired twist. As /Film reports, the group has stockpiled more than 14,000—yes, 14,000—VHS copies of Jerry Maguire (1996), and will soon launch a pop-up store for fans willing to show them the money.
The Jerry Maguire Video Store will open in LA’s iam8bit Gallery on January 13, 2017, and run until January 29. Visitors can expect an exact replica of a 1990s video rental store—the era of Jerry Maguire’s release. But instead of carrying everything from Kevin Smith comedies to Steven Seagal flicks, it will only stock VHS versions of Cameron Crowe’s catchphrase-heavy film.
“Seeing thousands of Jerrys finally reunited will forever destroy the viewers’ previous perception of culture, waste, and existence as a whole,” Everything is Terrible! said in an online release. “The Jerrys are a beautiful thing."
The pop-up store will run for two-and-a-half weeks, but Everything is Terrible! has been hard at work collecting Jerry Maguire VHS tapes for approximately eight years. As LA Weekly reports, the video collective solicits “Jerrys” (their nickname for the film) from donors across the country, but not because they love the film.
“We honestly don't have many feelings on the actual movie,” Dimitri Simakis and Nic Maier, co-creators of Everything is Terrible!, told LA Weekly. “We don't really care about it as a movie.” However, one of the collective’s main objectives is to rediscover—and highlight—bizarre and overlooked VHS movies. Jerry Maguire was a blockbuster when it was released, but aside from its quotable lines, it's actually the box office's lowest-grossing number one film of the past 20 years.
"We always have noticed since the beginning that there seems to be nothing but just Jerry Maguire tapes filling our nation's thrift stores," Simakis told NPR in 2010. "I have no idea why."
Instead of letting the Jerry Maguire tapes go to waste, Everything is Terrible! uses them to create bizarre art installations. They’ve built a throne made entirely from VHS copies of the movie, and after the pop-up Jerry Maguire Video Store has run its course, the group plans to use donations received at the outlet to construct a giant pyramid made from “Jerrys” in the middle of the desert.
“This is the stupidest incarnation of the American dream and it must be realized,” Everything is Terrible! concluded.
No word on whether Tom Cruise knows about the project. And while Crowe was unavailable for comment, his office told mental_floss that Crowe himself donated a signed VHS copy of the film to Everything is Terrible! a few years ago.
Watch a commercial for the Everything is Terrible! pop-up video store below, and learn about upcoming events, shows, and parties held at the venue here.