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Video Americain Postpones Sale in Hopes of Keeping Collection Intact

March 15, 2012
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The candlelight vigil on Monday night mourning the closing of the 19-year-old Video Americain Charles Village location resulted in two offers–one from a local organization and the other from a local group of individuals–hoping to buy the store’s entire collection, owner Barry Solan says. (Solan declined to disclose the identities of the groups at this stage.) Instead of a store-wide sale, which was initially planned to begin tomorrow, keeping the videos together could potentially bring the collection to the general public once more.

Solan is pleased with the offers to keep the impressive array of titles intact. “It all happened very quickly. . .and I’m kind of honored that there are people in town that think it is worthy of keeping together,” he says. Although independent video stores were, as Solan says, a “strange little interlude” in the  film business, some of these stores housed extraordinary collections; indeed, there is a precedent for buying collections in order to keep them in one piece.

Three years ago in New York’s East Village, Yongman Kim’s rare, eclectic video collection (Kim’s Video and Music) went to Salemi, a small village in Sicily whose mayor promised his town “The Neverending Film Festival.” Kim’s collection was kept in one place, available to the public; it brought attention to the restoration efforts of the village, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968.

For his part, Solan is pleasantly surprised that keeping the collection intact is of interest to people in the community. “I’m just an old-fashioned type of business guy,” he says. “I’ve never been involved in anything that involved this sort of effort.”

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