Room for Rent

Charlotte Magazine|May 2020

Room for Rent
Now a nonprofit, VisArt Video has a vision for the future, available in VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray
ANDY SMITH

VISART EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Gina Stewart thinks it’s time to update the website. When we chat one afternoon in March, I ask her about the 30,000 titles claimed on the video rental store’s page, and she laughs. “It’s closer to 50,000 with all the donations we’ve had lately,” she says. “We’re the largest collection of film and video on the East Coast, bar none. And we’re continuing to find all of these rare titles, some that we lost along the way—others we never even had in the past.”

Several new treasures have been bequeathed since VisArt announced a path toward non-profithood in 2018. Its 501(c)(3) status became official this past January. Those tens of thousands of movies and TV shows are on display inside the Eastway Crossing storefront, a labyrinth of high shelves that carry new releases, slasher flicks, Hong Kong cinema staples, kids’ movies, and sections dedicated to influential filmmakers’ oeuvres. With the move to nonprofit, “we now take away the mission of making money,” Stewart says. “Not that we’re not going to make money, but the end goal is to be of service to our community, to serve Charlotte.”

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May 2020