Pass the popcorn please

An exceptional collection of classic, foreign and independent films valued at $1.7 million is now being housed and preserved by UBC and SFU.

Videomatica – Vancouver’s iconic independent video rental store that specialized in rare and esoteric titles – has donated the bulk of its 28,000 DVDs, 4,000 VHS titles and 900 Blu-rays to UBC. The collection will be housed at UBC Library with more than 5,000 duplicates available at UBC’s Dept. of Theatre and Film. SFU received about 2,800 documentaries from the collection.

“We’re honoured to serve as the new home for an outstanding collection of films,” says Ingrid Parent, university librarian. “These titles, which number in the tens of thousands and cover a huge array of genres and topics, will serve as a valuable source of research and enjoyment.”

The collection includes feature films, literary adaptations, cult and art films, foreign films from more than 75 countries, Canadian works and selections from the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Videomatica on West 4th Avenue was founded by former UBC students and film buffs, Brian Bosworth and Graham Peat in 1983. It was Vancouver’s first specialty video store and a favourite among the city’s cinephiles.

“After spending three decades building a unique film library and the better part of a
year trying to preserve it, how wonderfully rewarding it is to know the interests of both the public and film students will be served with the collection finding a home at UBC and SFU,” says co-founder Graham Peat, who also acknowledges the contributions of Yosef Wosk, the philanthropist, community leader and academic whose efforts spurred the Videomatica donation.

Following an extensive archival process over the next 18 months, the collection at UBC will be available to borrow for UBC students, staff and faculty and community borrowers by early 2013.

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