Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Massive film collection from the former Mondo Kim's is heading to Alamo Drafthouse downtown

After the multi-level Mondo Kim's closed at 6 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue in December 2008, the shop's massive collection of 50,000-plus tapes and DVDs were shipped off to a town in Sicily, as Jeremiah Moss first noted

The plans called for "a Never-ending Festival — a 24-hour projection of up to 10 films at once for the foreseeable future ... and, eventually, the conversion of all Kim's VHS films to DVDs to ensure their preservation." 

And eventually, the plan was for Kim's members to have access to digitized versions of all these films, an assortment of cult classics and hard-to-find treasures. (Didn't go so well in Italy.) 

Anyway! This collection is returning to NYC. 

According to published reports and press releases, Alamo Drafthouse has said its working with founder Yongman Kim to bring his collection to the recently opened Lower Manhattan location (28 Liberty St.). 

Here's part of the press release:
After a twelve year and 9,000 mile odyssey that included a trip to Italy and back, the Kim’s Video collection is now back where it belongs — in New York City. It will be permanently housed and available for rental at Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan.
Alamo is expected to reveal more about the rental system later next week. 

The last Kim's, at 124 First Ave., closed in the summer of 2014.


Anonymous said...

The Village Voice article is a good read. I wonder what Mr Kim is up to now?

Everyone has a tale about their experience at Kim's. I was looking for a particular film many years ago, but couldn't remember the title...or the director. I could name all the actors and describe the plot, but the clerk refused to help without the director's name. This was before cell phones when you couldn't easily look something up. After several minutes of frustration, a customer on the other end of the room shouted "Hey! I have that movie right here!" I thanked him and the clerk just glared at me. I'm sure he knew exactly what film I was talking about the whole time.

Anonymous said...

Curiouser and curiouser.

I still chuckle when I recall the “This store has been checked for sleeping customers” sandwich board the Ave. A incarnation set inside the doors each night after closing.

Anonymous said...

So I remember a day whwn my no (thankful )ex and our best friends where painting our bathroom on W 10th St. When I saw them scraping the ceiling with my kitchen spatula I had a fit. I gave the ex my credit card and set him to Kim's. He bought a laser disc player and a couple disks, including Auntie Mame. Took him four hours to hook them up - I was done painting the bathroom by then. We cranked up the LD player and watched Auntie Mame on LD. It was amazing. I still have the LD player and the Auntie Mame LD, but he is long gone.

Unknown said...

Woaw! I hope they do memberships for digital gems soon!!!

Samantha Levin said...

Really curious about how Alamo is planning on preserving these videos, especially parts of the collection that are rare.