On April 12, 2021, Movie Madness celebrated its 30th anniversary. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the beloved Portland, Oregon video store (which boasts a staggering 80,000 titles in its collection) threw a virtual event to commemorate the occasion. But now we’re thrilled to celebrate in a way that’s close to our physical media-loving hearts: With the release of a book dedicated to the store and its history.
Movie Madness: 30 Years Behind the Counter at Portland’s Iconic Video Store is a collection of interviews, articles, photographs, original art, and more that takes a loving look at the history of Movie Madness—and, by extension, at video stores as a cultural phenomenon. Funny, informative, and heartfelt, it’s a tribute to the long-lost world of the video store—which, at Movie Madness, isn’t so lost after all.
“When we hosted the virtual anniversary event back in April, we heard an outpouring of memories from customers and employees past and present,” explains the Hollywood’s Community Engagement Director Alison Hallett, who drew from her past experience as a journalist to edit the book. “Not just about Movie Madness, but also about the video stores many of us grew up going to, and about Portland 15 or 20 or 30 years ago. I realized there were a lot of incredible stories connected to Movie Madness—and that if we didn’t tell them, they might never get told.”
“It was such a pleasure to reconnect with old friends and coworkers,” adds Movie Madness Managing Director and Head Curator Matt Parnell, who collaborated on the project. “We had so much fun remembering the best and the worst of the past 30 years together, and to really appreciate how significant Movie Madness has been for so many.”
The book’s contents include an essay from store regular (and acclaimed director) Todd Haynes, who explains how the store’s collection has helped inform his work; an in-depth interview with Movie Madness founder Mike Clark; a deep dive into the store’s porn room, which was disbanded in 2017; and conversations with employees about the movies they watched, the late-fee related tirades they endured, and the friends they made along the way.
Movie Madness: 30 Years Behind the Counter at Portland’s Iconic Video Store was edited by Alison Hallett, the Hollywood’s Director of Education and Community Engagement. The editorial team was rounded out by Movie Madness General Manager Matt Parnell; Movie Madness Store Manager Zoey Reynolds; and former Portland Mercury Executive Editor Erik Henriksen. Art direction and design was provided by Nate Ashley, who spends his days as lead visual designer for Powell’s Books. The book is co-published by Floating World Comics.