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Videomatica goes to the movies with Rewind weekend

Vancity Theatre hosts three-day, nine-movie program celebrating beloved video store

Kitsilano's 28-year-old video rental and sales shop Videomatica is celebrating its place in the local movie scene before it closes its doors with Rewind: The Videomatica Weekend, Aug. 19 to 21.

Vancity Theatre hosts the celebration in honour of the beloved video store known for its collection of classic and foreign films. The result is nine movies presented by nine celebrated guest presenters and the premiere of Support Your Local Video Store, the web series produced by sketch comedy troupe Red Wheelbarrow that depicts the dying days of a video store and all of its absurdities.

Videomatica co-founder Graham Peat has never heard of a video shop securing its own weekend of programming at a movie theatre before. But he recently read an article about stores in L.A. offering film courses and hosting comedy shows to create a sense of community and draw customers. He wasn't tempted try the same.

"We've already said, 'Hey we're throwing in the towel, let's have a party,'" Peat said. "I have to say that I did feel in many cases [the stores mentioned in the article] should either go into that business or they're just postponing the inevitable."

Videomatica staff compiled a list of 50 possible films for Rewind, then whittled it down and chose those that haven't recently screened in Vancouver and deserve to be viewed on a large screen and are hard to find.

"Things like Faster, Pussycat! and Latcho Drom are very hard to get and we did manage to bring them in from other countries," Peat said.

He recommends seeing the 1949 suspense The Third Man, starring Orson Welles.

"It's such a timeless spy thriller and more," he said. "If they get nothing else out of it than the wonderful theme song, that would be great. But with [broadcast legend] Red Robinson there talking about it, and he says he wasn't around when it was made, I think we'll have a real treat."

Another indulgence, he says, will be the screening of Christopher Guest's Best in Show, which will be introduced by Bard on the Beach's artistic director Christopher Gaze alongside Jay Brazeau, who appears in the comedy that was shot in Metro Vancouver.

"[Brazeau] can tell us anecdotes about the film when it was shot here," Peat said. "I think that's going to make the film a whole new film."

Moviegoers will be able to satiate their senses with Baraka and Latcho Drom, but Peat suggests Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! would have been even more compelling if it had gone further. "A movie that should have been in 3-D, some say," Peat quipped.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! will be presented by punk rock journalist and Evaporators frontman Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

Other Rewind films on tap include The Long Good Friday, The Big Lebowski, Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and Withnail and I, which will be followed by a panel discussion with Peat and Videomatica co-founder Brian Bosworth, hosted by film critic Katherine Monk.

Peat expects this to be the first of three closing celebrations. He couldn't specify when Videomatica would shut its doors because the final destination of the shop's collection has yet to be finalized.

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