Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is proud to announce the return of Kim’s Video, a New York film institution for nearly three decades, at Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan. The newly revamped Kim’s, which is now open, offers free rentals of thousands of DVDs and VHS titles from one of the world’s greatest video collections.
“We opened our first video store in Raleigh in 2018. As we were preparing that first effort, there was one collection we also wanted to save, the elusive, legendary white whale, Kim’s Video,” says Alamo Drafthouse founder and executive chairman Tim League. “It’s not just the DVDs and VHS, it’s the history, the personality and the curation infused into all the wonderful nooks and crannies of this collection. We are beyond honored to be the new steward of this legacy.”
From 1986 to 2012, film lovers from around the world would flock to the East Village to browse the legendarily diverse and esoteric catalog of Kim’s Video. The collection has close to 55,000 of the deepest cuts and the hardest-to-find selections – and many are not and may never be available on streaming platforms.
Founder Yongman Kim opened the first Kim’s Video out of a laundromat in 1986 and the collection quickly outgrew its space, expanding to four locations in the city, including the flagship Mondo Kim’s on St. Marks Place in 1995. Wishing to preserve years of devoted curation, in 2009 Mr. Kim took the only offer he had that would keep the collection together. The entire archive traveled 4,500 miles to Salemi, Italy, where it was preserved but largely unseen. After a twelve year and 9,000-mile odyssey, the Kim's Video collection is now back where it belongs – in New York City.
“Like the collection itself, the journey of Kim’s Video is legendary and we are thrilled to celebrate its dramatic return to New York City where it belongs," said the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. "With a renowned passion for and commitment to cinema in all its forms — from B-movies to classics, from indies to blockbusters — Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan is the ideal new home for this revered collection of films that has inspired generations of filmmakers and cultural influencers.”
In addition to free DVD and VHS rentals, Kim’s Video at Alamo Drafthouse includes VCRs and multi-region DVD players for rent, along with nostalgic Kim’s Video t-shirts and other merchandise for sale in the Alamo gift shop. The store itself features a rotating and ever-expanding selection of titles from the archive, with rarities from directors like John Waters, Jane Campion, and Takashi Miike, and lesser explored genres like Roller Skating Classics, Monkey Business, and Nunsploitation.
The collection will also be featured on the big screen as part of a monthly Kim’s Video Presents screening series at Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan, curated by Nick Prueher of the Found Footage Festival (and longtime Kim’s Video member!).
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