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Be Kind Video Rewinds Time for Movie Fans


(Photo: Ross A Benson)

Be Kind Video, a new Magnolia Park business, offers its visitors a mix of nostalgic atmosphere and modern entertainment.

The founder of the store is filmmaker Matthew Renoir. While Renoir had been making his way in the entertainment industry for years, he had a desire to create a video store that sold a collection of classic movies.

“It’s funny because most people want to be ‘Oh, to act in movies, to be a director, writer, star or whatever.’ “I’ve always dreamed of a video store,” Renoir said. “It made sense to me.”

(Photo: Ross A Benson)

Renoir and his partner moved to Los Angeles in 2010, after earning a film degree from San Francisco State University and working on film sets in the Bay Area. Since then he has been working as a cinematographer for music videos, documentaries, short films, web episodes. , and more.

In recent years, Renoir and one of his friends, Aaron Therol, have started discussing Renoir’s concept of a video store. As demand for VHS tapes began to increase at the same time, the two later sought tapes in second-hand shops. They then brought a pop-up VHS tape to the Los Feliz Flea market, which Renoir said was a “huge hit” among customers.

Through the California Dream Fund, Renoir took classes where he created a business plan for Be Kind Video. He was given $5,000 to open the store and after a local call he decided to rent a place on Magnolia Avenue across from Porto’s Bakery.

The store opened in November 2022. Renoir manages the business, while Therol and Renoir’s other friends Matt Landsman, Brian Judd and Jane Kim also contribute. Be Kind Video currently has around 1,000 VHS tapes available for purchase. Most of the tapes were left by community members who wanted to get rid of the movies that had taken up space in their homes for years. In addition, Be Kind Video also offers DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays for sale or rental. Burbank has so far been a viable site, Renoir says, due to locals’ close ties to the movie industry.

“It’s great to be in Burbank because most people have a connection to the film industry or work at Warner Brothers, Universal or Disney, so a lot of people just want to help, they want to contribute,” Renoir said. “Actually, supporting this small community has been incredible. And that was kind of a mission statement for the video store too – a place where you can actually come and talk movies and connect with other people and not have to buy anything. It’s a store of course, but I prefer it to be a place where people are comfortable hanging out and want to come back to because of the atmosphere.”

The store not only provides a selection of movies along with a smaller collection of television shows, but also offers a replica of a retro home TV installation. This area features wood paneling, an old TV set, Nintendo posters, “Back to the Future”, “Ghostbusters” and more, as well as other 80s memorabilia. Therol designed this space, and Renoir noticed the animated responses from shoppers brimming with memories as they walked around the store and browsed the videos.

(Photo: Ross A Benson)

“A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, this is my childhood home,’ or ‘How did you get into my basement?’ they’ll ask,” Renoir said. really amazing.

In the nearly three months that Be Kind Video went into business, Renoir held several events at the venue, including a Christmas movie trivia night and a VHS swap. On January 12, a stand-up comedy event was held on Be Kind Video featuring Ian Karmel, Will Miles, Irene Tu, Ashley Brooke Roberts and Nick Pupo, hosted by Chris Calogero and Emily Winter. Another comedy show will be held on February 9 and cartoon meetings will begin on Saturday morning, February 11th. This weekend’s meetups will feature original broadcasts and commercials of ’80s cartoons, and serve cereal to snacks for attendees.

One of the fun aspects of posting a Be Kind Video for Renoir is seeing customers of all ages pop into the store. A recent customer purchased a VHS of the movie “Ben-Hur,” a project that Renoir says his father contributed as a crew member. Other guests may be family units run by adults who share fun with their children about their childhood experiences.

“The coolest thing is that it ranges from 90-year-olds to babies,” Renoir said of clients. “And a lot of people tell their kids, ‘Hey, that’s what we used to do on Friday nights: We’d go to the Blockbuster or mom-pop video store and rent two movies, eat pizza’, go home, watch,’ that kind of thing.

Renoir has considered turning Be Kind Video into a nonprofit and plans to continue to include community-focused events such as monthly mixers for movie lovers. On January 23, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the store under the leadership of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. As the business attracts customers and gains loyal followers, Renoir hopes to connect with other Magnolia Park merchants and continue to grow the community as a sought-after destination for vintage enthusiasts in Burbank and beyond.

(Photo: Ross A Benson)

“The whole neighborhood has all the vintage market wear, vintage shops: Blast from the Past, Mystical Museum, Dark Flavors, Halloween Town, the Hollywood Book and Poster, all these excellent Venn diagram-style links, there are some transitions, but everyone really stops, except this “It’s the coolest thing,” Renoir said. “It would be nice if we could get together and make Magnolia Park something like Melrose. It’s something that has a destination, and you can come to hang out any night of the week.

To learn more about Be Kind Video, visit their site here or follow them instagram, twitter or Facebook.