The route that lead me to being able to actually check out the Jerry Maguire Video store was a total unexpected coincidence, it wasn’t originally planned at all it was just a true and very luck fluke, but one that I was so glad actually came together.
You see every year in San Francisco they hold the Film Noir Festival and every year Evrim and I look forward to checking out what obscure Noir goodness they’ve unearthed. The festival always looks so much fun that way back in at the start of 2016 I decided that I was going to make the journey and attend the 2017 festival. So a year of planning and figuring out how to get the best out of the city goes by and things are looking great, but then as the trip is getting closer and closer things suddenly look even better…
You see the psychedelic found footage warriors Everything Is Terrible announced they’d be playing two nights in San Francisco, right when I was going to be there! Not only that but at around the same time in Los Angeles they were going to unleash the Jerry Maguire Video Store to the general public. Yes a video store that only stocked one thing, but it’s possible the greatest thing know to the human race, yes the store was only going to stock VHS copies of Jerry Maguire – 14,000 copies of it…
Now I’d actually planned on heading down to LA for a day trip to visit two of my oldest friends who live there as I’d not seen for quite a while, it would have been odd to be all the way over on the other side of the planet and be so close without going to see them. So the master plan was hatched: pay a visit to Henry & Heidi and check out the Jerry store all in one chaotic day – Friday 27th January 2017!
So an early start, realising I’d forgotten to bring anything to read, then a delayed flight, forgetting my shades, an hour long drive across LA and I’m back in a place I’d not been for 2 and a half years. It was so great to catch up with Henry and Heidi and have lunch in our regular place once again.
Now I’d planned on checking out the Jerry store on my own, figuring Henry wouldn’t be into it, but he wanted to take me over there as he couldn’t figure out what it was I was going to see, which was really great of him, so another long drive across LA and were suddenly there, all the way across the globe and I’m stood right outside the I Am 8bit Gallery, also known as the Jerry Maguire Video Store. In fact I actually walked past it at first as I was still looking at the window of the record store that’s right next to it; Henry had to point me in the direction of the door.
The very first thing that hits you when you stepped through the door was just how simply overwhelming it was to be surround by 1000s upon 1000s of the same object, let alone that it’s seemingly an infinite amount of Jerry Maguire VHS tapes, it kind of took my breath away.
We were greeted by the amazing volunteer staff who were all wearing the Jerry Store uniform and totally act the part of video store clerks, but even better than that was that one of them was my friend Nate who I’d met when I’d been in town two years before for the Everything Is Festival event. I’d told him I was coming so he was expecting me and it was so great to see him again.
The store was so amazing, it was so worth going all the way there for, it’s so strange and overpowering being in it, the red and white videos cases almost become psychedelic as they’re all you can see every which way you turn. Nate showed us around the back areas where there were even more copies of Jerry used to decorate the party area, along with Jerry art, the plans for the Jerry pyramid and even the legendary copy of Jerry that was sent and signed by the man himself: Cameron Crowe.
Yes the ultimate plan with all this is to build a pyramid in the desert constructed only from Jerry VHS tapes and leave them there for people to wonder about and worship through the years. So why Jerry and why all these tapes? Well I think my friend Henry put it best by saying it’s reflecting your own culture back at you, Jerry was one of the biggest selling VHS releases of all time, but what where did all those tapes go and what does it matter now? Well here you are, here’s all of your tapes looking back at you, what do you think of them now?
We only got to spend about an hour at the store, but it was so funny, Henry loved it and I’m so pleased he came along and we got to check it out together. I could have stayed there for the rest of the day, it made me wish that I’d spent more time in LA and been able to volunteer in the store for a day shift, it would have been so funny!
After that we headed back across town to hang out for a while and before I knew it I was in another taxi heading back to LAX and a flight back to San Francisco. It was such a great day, very hurried, but so much fun, I had such a great time hanging out with some of my oldest friends and plus the always amazing Everything Is Terrible crew!
You can check out more about the Jerry Maguire Video Store and the Jerry Pyramid right here!