Friday January 20, 2017

14,000 VHS copies of Jerry Maguire: Welcome to the world's worst video store

(Image Source: top-3.net)

Listen 6:55

Imagine standing in a 1990s-style video rental store with nothing but a youthful Tom Cruise staring back at you ... over and over and over again. 

In Los Angeles, the American video and performance art collective Everything Is Terrible! have constructed just such a place. It's a video rental store installation inside the iam8bit Gallery.

There's only one movie on the shelves and it's Jerry Maguire, though to be fair, there are 14,000 copies of that one film. 

              

              

Remember Jerry Maguire?

Jerry Maguire came out in 1996 and stars Cruise alongside RenĂ©e Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie celebrated its 20th anniversary this past December.

The Everything is Terrible! crew have been slowly collecting the tapes, Jerrys as they call them, largely because they could.  

"It was just the easiest to get," says the collective's creative director Nic Maier, who also goes by Commodore Gilgamesh.

The movie was released just as DVDs were entering the mainstream, which means a lot of people ditched their VHS copies as they upgraded to DVD.

Maier recalls seeing mounds of the abandoned tapes popping up at thrift stores. After a while, he started to feel sorry for them and began buying them. And eventually, the idea for the peculiar video store was born.

             

Inside the Jerry Maguire Video Store

"It's beautiful," Maier says. "You can't even describe how red it is." 

The the movie, at least the physical copies of it, seem to make people happy.

"I have never shown anyone more than 20 Jerry Maguires without them immediately smiling and laughing."

Once word got out that they were collecting VHS copies of Jerry Maguire, Maier says people started contributing their own. Visitors to the exhibit often bring more.

"Mostly, we're getting from them more Jerry Maguires. They don't want anything but to be in the presence of the physical objects."

But Maier isn't an obsessive fan of the film.

"I've never seen it start to finish," he admits.

          

        

A pyramid in the desert

Once the video store closes at the end of January, Maier says the ultimate goal is to establish a place in the desert where the can build a giant Jerry Maguire pyramid

"A permanent, enormous pyramid where they'll all live together, forever," Maier says.

The exhibit runs now until the January 29 at iam8bit Gallery.

To listen to Day 6 host Brent Bambury's full interview with Nic Maier, click the listen button at the top of this page.