Oct. 16, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Videology, the self-described bar and micro-cinema located in Williamsburg, will be closing its doors the end of this month after 15 years in the neighborhood.
The business, located at 308 Bedford Ave., made the announcement on its Twitter and Facebook pages this morning, noting that its last day would be on Oct. 27.
Videology began as a DVD rental store before transforming into a bar and 40-seat theater showing contemporary box office hits, classic films, and television shows. It still offered DVDs for rental, however, with more than 17,000 titles in their collection.
The venue was also known for holding movie trivia sessions and other games.
James Leet, co-owner of Videology, said the time to close up shop to pursue other opportunities just felt right, and did not come from common issues like rising rents or landlord problems.
“This is something that didn’t come up by surprise, but right now seems like a good time especially after such a long, really strong run,” Leet said.
Leet will be focusing on architecture, a subject he has a background in, while the co-owner, Wendy Chamberlain, has accepted an opportunity at an on-demand streaming company.
News of the Videology’s closing saddened dozens, many who commented on Facebook and Twitter of the unique experience the venue offered in New York City.
The bar and cinema is one of a handful of video rental stores that managed to stay afloat in the age of Netflix and on-demand video. Chamberlain told DNAInfo in 2013, two years after switching to a bar and cinema, that most of their income came from the bar.
“A lot of people were disappointed, but it was this or going out of business altogether,” Chamberlain said to the news site after changing up other facets of the business. “People don’t seem to realize, video stores are not long for this world.”
But the business was not without trouble afterward. The owners filed a lawsuit in 2017 claiming that the landlord was trying to kick them out of their business for a series of “petty allegations.”
Leet said that lawsuit has since died down as was mainly a misunderstanding between them and the landlord. The suit, he added, did not contribute to their decision to close.
“When you make a decision like this obviously there’s a number of factors,” Leet said. “We’ve been here for 15 years–we’ve had an awesome run for Videology, and we’ve had a lot of support from the Williamsburg community and greater New York City.”
Videology still has a lineup of events planned prior to closing. Visit www.videologybarandcinema.com for more information.
Update 8:17 p.m. – Statements from James Leet, Videology co-owner, added.