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9:00 p.m. Tuesday: Best Video Rental 

Video Room

Oakland's Video Room is so crammed with good stuff that the movies are jammed sideways onto the shelves and the aisles are so close that you probably shouldn't go there after eating a big meal. But don't worry -- despite the store's cozy atmosphere, it somehow manages to contain a massive library of videos and DVDs, both for sale and rental. The Video Room's filing system includes your standard cineaste's pick of foreign, documentary, and art films as well as a host of less-intuitive categories such as "Ripe Melodrama," "Surreal Animation," and "Madonna." There's also a little corner known as the "Local Love" section featuring movies about the Black Panthers, Patty Hearst, People's Park, and other titles hand-selected by the friendly folks at Nonchalance (, those guys responsible for the Liberation Drive-In and the "Oaklandish" stickers clinging to bumpers around town. If you can't figure out which category your movie selection might be filed under, the friendly staff will help you track it down, and there's no annoyingly misplaceable video rental card required in order to take your finds home with you.

Readers' Pick: Reel Video


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