Places to Get VHS in NYC

Compiled in ongoing prep for [Open VCR Night](

Rebel Rouser

867 Broadway, Brooklyn (in The Alley)

Crates of $1 tapes scattered in and outside, plus shelves you’ll browse right past. Search closely, between and behind things, and dig.

Deep Cuts Record Store

57-03 Catalpa Ave, Queens

Went to investigate a drop Mark Kleeb forwarded me, paid off. They had a hand-painted former American Beauty box containing "Celebrity Wife Swap," "Live at Bohemian Grove." I'm dying to find out.

Kim’s Video

The below is adapted from Geistlist Iss. 14

I live precisely across the street from what used to be Kim’s Video on Saint Marks Place. Before that it was a mosty gay bathhouse shut down due to pandemic fears. Now it is Barcade, which just last week got Robocop pinball, and hosted the book launch afterparty for the fantastic book Saint Marks Is Dead. The Barcade staff can (and do) watch my cat Colson sunning in my window from the bar during slow shifts.

Kim’s was before my time in this city and I never went, but those who discover, research, and admire a scene after the scene’s gone have a special way of loving it, mostly sans mourning.

Yongman Kim collected and rented obscure VHS tapes in that way good & old retail can act partially as museum or archive.

Then it became one, by strategically closing. Kim posted a note on the door: “We hope to find a sponsor who can make this collection available to those who have loved Kim’s over the past two decades.” The were three conditions, and a place that could meet them would inherit the collection for free:

  1. Keep the collection intact.
  2. Continue to update it.
  3. Make it accessible to Kim’s members and others.

The 2009 institution who could was an ancient tiny town in Italy called Salemi, due to a global couchsurfer who had dinner with a woman who know a photographer who had just been appointed Salemi's Alderman of Creativity, with a colleague Alderman of Nothing.

Then in Spring 2022, it came back to NYC 4 stories under a Financial District skyscraper surrounded by still-unrented (prebandoned?) marbly & glass underground retail suites in the newest Alamo Drafthouse. A laseretched plaque dedicates it to the Municipality of Salemi "and its commitment to the promotion, maintenance, and return of the collection," and also it shares a home with a collection of 50,000 film advertising printing blocks you can pull on a Vandercook yourself.

Side factoid: there's some film flong on column in front of the bar with wall text edited by Geistlist's Flong Specialist in Residence, Glenn Fleishman. The suite next to it is also where all the Sing For Hope public pianos are stored.

You can rent up to 3 VHS tapes at a time, for free, for 3 days. They'll also rent you a VCR.