Vidiots will remain open after donation from Megan Ellison, doctor


The curtain hasn’t fallen on Vidiots quite yet.

The legendary Santa Monica video store is getting a donation from film producer Megan Ellison along with longtime customer Leonard M. Lipman M.D. that will keep the store open for the foreseeable future, co-owner Cathy Tauber told The Times Friday night.

This all this just happened and we are beyond thrilled,” she said. “We will not be closing. We will be around for hopefully a long time.”

Lipman pledged a donation after Tauber and co-owner Patty Pollinger announced earlier this week that they were going to close the store in April after suffering years of severe financial losses.


But it wasn’t until Ellison got in touch with the owners that the deal fell into place.

Tauber said Ellison -- whose production company Annapurna has been behind acclaimed independent films including “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Her” and “Foxcatcher” -- will play a close role with the store.

“She really wants to partner with us in making Vidiots a new, exciting, sustainable place with an independent mind-set,” Tauber said.

The news of the donation was met with tears of joy among the employees and customers at the store Friday night, she said.

The initial news of the closure triggered testimonials from film fanatics on social media almost mourning the store. The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern wrote an ode to the store while writer Elina Shatkin declared in an LA Weekly essay, “I Went to UCLA, But My Real Film School Was Vidiots.”

The outpouring drew Ellison to the store Thursday, said Bebe Lerner, a partner at the public relations firm ID who represents Annapurna.


Before the deal was made public Ellison tweeted a photo of the store along with the message “Be Kind Rewind” Thursday, to which actress Olivia Wilde responded in all caps, “SAVE VIDIOTS!!!”

Friday evening Ellison responded to a tweet from a Times reporter about the closure with the cryptic message, “yeah...maybe not.”

Tauber and Lerner did not disclose the size of the donation.

“We don’t want to say numbers but they should keep their coffee pot running,” Lerner said.

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