Earlier this year, on April 12, Movie Madness—the not-for-profit video store arm of the Hollywood Theatre—turned 30 years old.
“We hosted the virtual anniversary event,” Hollywood Theatre’s community engagement director Alison Hallett wrote in a press release. “We heard an outpouring of memories from customers and employees past and present. Not just about Movie Madness, but also about the video stores many of us grew up going to, and about Portland 15 or 20 or 30 years ago. I realized there were a lot of incredible stories connected to Movie Madness.”
Hallett—who has a background in journalism—decided to plan and edit a book about the storied shop. Full disclosure, Hallett and a couple others who worked on this book were my former co-workers at a different newspaper.
Movie Madness: 30 Years Behind the Counter at Portland’s Iconic Video Store is immediately eye-catching for its list of contributors: Local director Todd Haynes wrote an essay for the collection, and the store’s general manager Matt Parnell penned a memorial piece about the shop’s now-defunct adult movie room. There’s an interview with the store’s founder Mike Clark, and a “DVD Confidential: Declassified” article, which describes how some of the shop’s “less-than-legit titles” made their way onto its shelves.
You’ll also find transcribed oral histories from both clerks and customers, ruminating on the shop and what its meant to them.
Mail orders of the book won’t be delivered until mid-January, but limited copies can be found at Powell’s, Movie Madness, or the book’s co-publishers Floating World Comics.