Megan Ellison, independent film producer and daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, has donated an undisclosed amount to keep a legendary video store in Santa Monica up and running. Vidiots has been a treasured institution for over 30 years, and is prized by those in the industry and film buffs alike. The store justifies the existence of at least a few brick and mortar video rental places of its ilk in an era of disruptive streaming. Vidiots has a collection of 50, 000 films with many rare titles, and contrary to popular belief, not all of its is available on the internet.
Elina Shatin, who writes for L.A. Weekly, told the Advocate, “Contrary to what people say, not everything is available on Netflix or the Internet, ” she wrote in her article “I Went to UCLA, but my real film school was Vidiots, ” “And while we have all the online recommendations and referrals we could ever want, what’s missing are the places where fellow travelers can meet, randomly, irregularly, but in person, to compare notes.”
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Megan Ellison, whose Annapurna Pictures has produced film titles, Her, Zero Dark Thirty and Foxcatcher, donated enough money to keep the store running for several years. The estimated costs of just keeping it open run to $150, 000 annually. Co-owner Cathy Tauber told the Advocate “All this just happened and we are thrilled. We will not be closing. We will be around for hopefully a long time.”
Vidiots was in danger of closing its doors in April. Ellison, according to the Wall Street Journal, will be dedicating her management talents as well as monetary amounts. Tauber said, “She wants to be involved with more than just giving money. She wants to help us create a more sustainable business without changing who we are.” Retired physician and Vidiots customer, Dr. Leonard Lipman, also donated an undisclosed amount.