Movie Madness is a Portland institution. Known for its vast collection, knowledgeable staff, and display cases full of legendary film props, the iconic Belmont storefront has a deserved reputation as one of the best video stores in the country.
But now Movie Madness is in danger of closing forever. The Hollywood Theatre has the chance to purchase Movie Madness and fold it into our nonprofit, ensuring that this invaluable collection remains available to Oregonians for years to come. We must raise $250,000 by November 10 or Movie Madness will close and the collection will be sold.
With your help, we can save this important piece of Portland’s culture and ensure its collection of 80,000+ titles remains accessible to movie lovers everywhere.
Movie Madness was founded in 1991 by Mike Clark. Mike is now ready to retire - and he’s offered the Hollywood Theatre the chance to acquire his beloved business for $250,000. (The collection alone was recently appraised at $585,000.)
If we succeed in raising our goal, the Hollywood Theatre will buy Movie Madness - the business and the 80,000+ title collection - and transition it into our nonprofit. We will continue to rent the Belmont storefront for the foreseeable future, and Mike will continue to display his remarkable collection of film props in the store’s film museum. We will also retain the store’s current employees.
The Hollywood is the right organization to buy Movie Madness and ensure its long-term survival. We’ve lovingly restored our 1926 movie palace, and opened our new microcinema at Portland International Airport. We brought 70mm film presentation back to Portland. And we’re a thriving nonprofit with 3,200+ members who believe in our mission of preserving and promoting the art of film.
By acquiring Movie Madness, we’re not trying to save a dying business model - we’re going to help it evolve by rethinking the role it plays in the community.
- We’ll expand our popular membership program to include benefits at Movie Madness.
- We’ll explore community engagement opportunities through construction of a new screening room and the development of new partnerships.
- We’ll partner with Free Geek to provide affordable access to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray players.
- We’ll continue to preserve and grow the collection, adding new releases and found treasures to ensure that Movie Madness remains a “living collection” that reflects the diverse interests and perspectives of the community it serves.
We’ve already secured a $90,000 grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation to provide two years of operating support for the project, contingent on this campaign succeeding. We are prepared to invest time, energy, and money into this project to ensure the long-term viability of Movie Madness.
The single most important reason for acquiring Movie Madness is to keep its extensive collection accessible to the public. A collection of this size is an irreplaceable cultural resource.
There are 80,000+ titles in the Movie Madness collection. In 2016, according to Variety, Amazon had 18,405 movies and 1,981 TV shows; Netflix had 4,563 movies and 2,445 TV shows; and Hulu had 6,656 films and 3,588 television shows. (Read more about Netflix’s “abominable selection of classic cinema” in this recent Newsweek article.) Movie Madness has twice as many titles available as all three platforms combined.
Streaming services offer only the illusion of choice. In reality, their constantly shifting lineup is dictated by studio licenses and distributor contracts, with titles subject to vanishing without notice.
Additionally, plenty of movies never make it to these services in the first place. Whenever there is an industry transition to a new format, movies are left behind - obscure and cult titles rarely make the cut.
These movies are not just entertainment - they represent diverse perspectives in a time when diverse voices are sorely needed in public discourse, and provide snapshots into our cultural history that can enlighten our present. By acquiring the Movie Madness collection, we’ll keep these titles available to the public, and we’ll make sure that the rare and one-of-a-kind titles in the collection are preserved.
Pledge today, and help us keep this irreplaceable community resource alive.
We're excited to offer some unique rewards in return for your support!
For $25, you can get your hands on a wool felt pennant in either the Movie Madness or Hollywood Theatre design. For $35, we've got some beautiful enamel pins, designed exclusively for this Kickstarter project. For $40, you can wear your support with pride with our Movie Madness “VHS” tee, and for $50, our glow-in-the-dark "Frankie" tee.
For $80, you’ll get two tickets to A Night With Todd Haynes, an exclusive double feature of BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and a newly restored, doll-themed rarity (the title of which we’re not at liberty to mention). Both films will be presented in 35mm and the evening will be hosted by director Todd Haynes! We’ll even throw in popcorn and two beverages per person.
We're also excited to offer new ways for our community to get involved with Movie Madness. For $100, you can select a film from their 80,000+ collection to be sponsored under a name of your choosing (availability permitting). For $150, choose five movies to be featured in Movie Madness’ Community Picks section - with recommendations provided by you. Your selection will be featured for one month.
We're also offering unlimited rentals at Movie Madness (three months for $150 and six months for $300). Two movies at a time, and late fees still apply. For true movie fans, we're offering a combo of unlimited rentals, Hollywood Theatre passes, and our exclusive Kickstarter merch (six months for $600, and one year for $1,000).
For 25 lucky backers who pledge $500, we're handing over our marquee for you to display a personalized message. Why not use our marquee to surprise a friend and grab a photo! We'll choose a date together, and display your message from 11pm through 2pm the following day.
For $2,500, we'll walk you and 16 friends through airport security and screen a movie of your choosing at our PDX microcinema (schedule permitting). For $5,000, we'll screen your favorite movie for you and your friends at the Hollywood Theatre (schedule permitting).
And if that's not enough, for $10,000, we'll screen 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, or WEST SIDE STORY in 70mm for you and 383 of your friends at the Hollywood Theatre (schedule permitting).
We'd like to thank Mike Clark for bringing this unique opportunity to us, for his all his generosity and hard work, and for his trust in the team at the Hollywood Theatre. We'd also like to thank the staff at Movie Madness (our future co-workers, we hope!) for their collaboration and enthusiasm for this project.
Thanks also to Todd Haynes for agreeing to host our very special double feature, Naomi Pomeroy and the staff at Beast for offering to host our backer dinner, Blue Chalk for our incredible project video (featuring Joaquin Lopez and Anahelena Goodman-Flood—thank you!), Scarecrow Video for their advice and insights, Nate Ashley for his tireless work designing our campaign reward materials, and Andy McMillan for assisting with this Kickstarter project and managing our reward fulfillment.
Thank you also to Alison Hallett and Kristy Conrad for their extra effort on this Kickstarter campaign, and the rest of our office and theatre staff for their hard work day in and day out, our board for their steadfast guidance, and all 3,200+ Hollywood Theatre members for their support.
“Movie Madness is a place where a love of movies is completely and totally evident. An entire consummate encyclopedic collection of rare and obscure titles goes away if Movie Madness goes away. It would be not just the loss of an extraordinary collection, but a loss of a place that is a real, breathing tribute to the love of movies. It keeps you excited about the world to discover places like this.”
— Todd Haynes, Film Director & Hollywood Theatre Board Member
“The Movie Madness library that the Hollywood Theatre would like to absorb is one of the most amazing collections of cinema archaeology that I have ever seen and it is very important that it be saved. This is a very worthy endeavor - give money to this project!”
— Gus Van Sant, Film Director
“I can’t imagine better bastions of film and TV history combining forces to create a whole new entertainment future for Portland than the Hollywood Theatre and Movie Madness. It’s going to be tough to decide which one to spend more time in!”
— Tim Williams, Executive Director, Oregon Film
“Unparalleled in its breadth, depth, and genuine quirkiness, Movie Madness is the keeper of an important legacy. So much of the classic cinema behind its doors just isn’t available anywhere else. Like a library, Movie Madness looks to enhance the future by preserving the past. I offer my full support to Hollywood Theatre and its effort to serve Portlanders, now and into the future, by preserving Movie Madness as a treasure for everyone to enjoy.”
— Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries, Multnomah County Library
“Truly great independent video stores with a collection of this size are an incredible asset for cinephile research and study. We can’t tell you how many films have slipped into a copyright and/or distribution morass - there are many instances where a collection of early commercial releases like this is your only chance to see something exceptionally rare and unique. To lose such an incredible community resource would be heartbreaking.”
— Todd Wiener, Motion Picture Archivist, UCLA Film & Television Archive