Movie Madness’ New Library Features About 150 Titles and Mirrors the Mission of the Store and Nonprofit

The most-borrowed book is “Lynch on Lynch,” suggesting the intensity of cinephilia in the air at Movie Madness.

Alison Hallett could only recommend Mark Harris’ book Pictures at a Revolution—about the seismic shifts in late-’60s Hollywood—so many times before a bigger idea sparked.

“What if I made it possible for people to read that book?” says the Hollywood Theatre’s education director. “What if I made it possible for people to read all the books?”

The happy hunger for context found in Harris’ pages is mirrored in Movie Madness’ new library—two shelves of film books adjacent to the iconic video store’s checkout counter. Accountholders can check out material from the approximately 150-title catalog for free and keep the books for up to 21 days.

Before the library’s debut in March, Hallett seeded it with books by local authors, like former Oregonian film critic Shawn Levy and Melissa Maerz, who wrote 2020′s Alright Alright Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. But the rest were community donated, including recently a few dozen texts from the estate of late Portland film archivist Dennis Nyback. (The library is still accepting donations.)

In a small but mighty collection (relative to the store’s 90,000-plus movies) of oral histories, film theory tomes and coffee-table beauties, the most-borrowed book is Lynch on Lynch, suggesting the intensity of cinephilia in the air at Movie Madness.

Given that enthusiasm, Hallett says, the mission of the library naturally mirrors that of the store turned nonprofit: “Encourage people to geek out about movies.”

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