CLOSE
iStock
iStock

Alamo Drafthouse’s New Video Store Will Feature DVDs, VHS Tapes, and '90s Nostalgia

iStock
iStock

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.

[h/t Variety]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
FBI
arrow
crime
Report: Police Have Arrested a Suspect in California's Golden State Killer Case
FBI
FBI

From 1976 to 1986, a serial killer now known as the Golden State Killer committed a staggering number of crimes in California ranging from burglaries to rapes to 12 known homicides. Like the Zodiac killer, the individual’s ability to escape detection and capture led to a public fascination over the decade-long spree. Now, it appears authorities may have finally closed in on the person responsible.

According to The Daily Beast, Sacramento police are expected to announce Wednesday afternoon that an arrest has been made in connection with the 120 burglaries, 45 sexual assaults, and murders that ended more than 30 years ago. Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, has reportedly been arrested on two counts of murder, with authorities expected to confirm he is a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases. DeAngelo is a former police officer who worked just outside of Sacramento in the 1970s.

The Golden State Killer is the topic of a recent best-selling true crime book, Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. McNamara, who spent five years researching the case, passed away suddenly in 2016, when she was only halfway done with the project. Her husband, comedian/actor Patton Oswalt, hired investigative reporter Billy Jensen to complete her work. The book, which is currently being turned into an HBO docuseries, is being credited with renewing both public and law enforcement interest in the case, which may have led to DeAngelo’s arrest.

The killer was active in the Sacramento suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Carmichael, as well as other parts of Southern California. He was also given the labels East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, and the Diamond Knot Killer. His last suspected crime was the murder of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine, California in 1986.

[h/t: The Daily Beast]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
John P. Johnson, HBO
arrow
literature
Charles Dickens Wrote His Own Version of Westworld in the 1830s
John P. Johnson, HBO
John P. Johnson, HBO

Charles Dickens never fully devoted himself to science fiction, but if he had, his work might have looked something like the present-day HBO series Westworld. As The Conversation reports, the author explored a very similar premise to the show in The Mudfrog Papers, a collection of sketches that originally appeared in the magazine Bentley's Miscellany between 1837 and 1838.

In the story "Full Report of the Second Meeting of the Mudfog Association for the Advancement of Everything," a scientist describes his plan for a park where rich young men can take out their aggression on "automaton figures." In Dickens's story, the opportunity to pursue those cruel urges is the park's main appeal. The theme park in Westworld may have been founded with a slightly less cynical vision, but it has a similar outcome. Guests can live out their heroic fantasies, but if they have darker impulses, they can act on those as well.

Instead of sending guests back in time, Dickens's attraction presents visitors with a place very similar to their own home. According to the scientist's pitch, the idyllic, Victorian scene contains roads, bridges, and small villages in a walled-off space at least 10 miles wide. Each feature is designed for destruction, including cheap gas lamps made of real glass. It's populated with robot cops, cab drivers, and elderly women who, when beaten, produce “groans, mingled with entreaties for mercy, thus rendering the illusion complete, and the enjoyment perfect.”

There are no consequences for harming the hosts in Westworld, but the guests at Dickens's park are at least sent to a mock trial for their crimes. However, rather than paying for their misbehavior, the hooligans always earn the mercy of an automated judge—Dickens's allegory for how the law favors the rich and privileged in the real world.

As for the Victorian-era automatons gaining sentience and overthrowing their tormenters? Dickens never got that far. But who knows where he would have taken it given a two-season HBO deal.

[h/t The Conversation]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER