It may not look totally polished quite yet, but , is open and ready for business. Owner Miguel Gomez, who was the manager of TLA Video in Bryn Mawr until its closing two weeks ago, envisions Viva Video as “a film lover’s community,” where customers can rent everything from new Hollywood releases to little-known art films, with a focus on well-reviewed art cinema, documentaries and foreign films.
While the store is a bit haphazard at the moment—Gomez said he's organizing the movies alphabetically, and working on the B's right now—customers are free to make their way to the store's back entrance and browse the films.
While much of the stock is similar in focus to TLA's, it does differ in some ways, as owning his own store gives Gomez more freedom to explore his own interests, including foreign horror films and cult cinema. On Thursday, Gomez showed off a pile of newly purchased Criterion Collection films that TLA hadn't had in stock.
Looking for a movie for the weekend? Gomez had these to recommend:
- Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson's latest film
- Daisies, a 1966 Czech New Wave film that's "a joy to watch"
- Le Havre, a 2011 French film by a Finnish director in which "the people are the equivalent of rotary phones ... they just don't make people who look like that any more"
- A Cat in Paris, which was nominated for an animated Oscar last year
- Experiment in Terror, a 1962 film that's "just a really good thriller"
Older films rent for $4.50, and new releases rent for $5. Viva Video also offers several subscription and pre-pay plans at a discount.
Take a look at the photos above to see Viva Video's transformation in process. Gomez hopes to have demolition and shelving finished, stock in place and the Lancaster Avenue side of the storefront open by early November. Until then, customers can access the store from the rear entrance, located off of the Cricket Avenue municipal parking lot.
Viva Video is located at 16 W Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore, and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The store can be reached at 610-649-8482.
Read more about Viva Video here.