VHS is not yet dead: Dalston throws it a lifeline

Voodoo: Voodoo Ray's pizza bar Kingsland High St, Dalston E8 2PB 250215 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Alibi club, Kingsland High Street, Dalston © DA
Show retro: the quirky little Alibi

JUST WHEN you thought it was safe to send your VHSs to the charity shop, up pops a club that has taken up showing films on these clunky precursors of the DVD.

A film club in Dalston – natch – is screening Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter’s disturbing story of a police station surrounded by a mob, at the Alibi, a few doors south of the Rio Cinema.

The movie’s edge of claustrophobia makes the nightclub’s constricted basement venue the perfect venue.

Marek Steven, of the Alibi Film Club, told Loving Dalston that the group began in August 2010, using DVDs, before starting a VHS season. Steven said: “This was due to an appreciation I have always had for the semi-film-like quality of the playback and because it’s fun, particularly the old trailers one sits through – and, yes, I guess it is cool right now and something different – but also because I realised I still had a lot of great VHS tapes.”

Attendance had been 10 to 25 people a week but the club’s VHS screening of the 2015 UK documentary Beyond Clueless “was rammed”.

VHS became the prevalent home-viewing format early this century but the last big Hollywood film to be made available in VHS came out in 2006 when technology was losing out to DVD, and later, Blu-ray discs.

Some charries no longer accept donations of VHS cassettes. They might want to think again.

Hamish Scott 110315

* Alibi Film Club, 91 Kingsland High Street, Dalston E8 2PB (020 7249 2733),  is screening Assault on Precinct 13 on Mon 16 Mar 2015 at 8pm, free. 

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