Well, once again: This is sad. But perhaps not as sad as previous tales of the demise of video stores beloved by local cinephiles. It turns out that part of the deal struck between the newly open Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at the New Mission Theater and the two-decade-old Lost Weekend Video will result in Lost Weekend closing its doors on Valencia Street.
As we heard last fall, Lost Weekend partnered with Alamo Drafthouse to help preserve, sort, and rent out the vast archive of the now deceased Le Video. Lost Weekend, it was announced, would be running a kiosk out of the lobby of Alamo Drafthouse, which I imagined would kind of like a librarian's window at a reference library, where you'd put in a request for a movie, and they'd disappear or tell you to come back tomorrow to get it.
And just think: If Alamo Drafthouse is doing a screening of Goodfellas, you can just head to the lobby afterwards and take home an unsung Scorcese flick like After Hours. Says Liz Duran, Alamo's private events and community director, “The audience is going to get a lot more out of going to an Alamo movie by having the video store within our walls.”
Now, as Mission Local reports, we learn that the kiosk will become home next month to both Lost Weekend and the Le Video collection, though to what extent the collections will be distinct or where and how it's all getting stored remains to be seen. Lost Weekend has a collection 27,000 titles strong, and Le Video's is more like 100,000.
Lost Weekend may have an active role in handling and making available the Le Video archive, though specific details have yet to be ironed out as well, pending decisions about whether or not to split up the video collection or leave it intact. Lost Weekend’s new location inside the Alamo will, however, use Le Video’s shelving units, physically blending the three film institutions.
So, on the one hand, SF is losing two cool video stores in one fell swoop. But, on the other, they are both remaining alive in some form, and will perhaps reach a new audience of movie fans visiting this shiny and new movie theater where you're also encouraged to get drunk and eat food.
Look for the kiosk to take shape over the next month or months, but allegedly Lost Weekend will be making their stuff available there by February. (This sounds like a huge and logistically complicated project, however, so things could take time.)
Consequently Lost Weekend is winding down its weekly comedy events in the CineCave, and the storefront will close in February as well.