The idea for a nonprofit video store in Baltimore was first floated in 2012, after Video Americain closed its Charles Village location and was struggling to remain open in Roland Park. Eric Hatch and Scott Braid of the Maryland Film Festival had formed the Baltimore Video Collective hoping to build a collection of movies as varied and well-curated as the one at Video Americain, and they started gathering titles.
Earlier today, the collective, which is up to seven members, launched a Kickstarter campaign to help restore the former home of Reptilian Records on North Howard Street, near the Ottobar, to house its 5,000-plus films—including, an intro video notes, nearly every title in the Criterion Collection. Any money the store makes will go toward paying workers a living wage and adding to the movie collection, the video also says.
The group is asking for $30,000, of which $20,000 will go toward buying more movies and the other $10,000 will be put toward building out the space.