BUCKTOWN — An independently-owned neighborhood video store famous for a collection of rare and cult films and a team of passionate, knowledgable volunteers is permanently closed.
Odd Obsession Movies, 1830 N. Milwaukee Ave., is closed after 16 years, owners announced Tuesday in a Facebook post.
The store near the Bucktown-Wicker Park border was already facing dire financial hardship going into the stay at home order. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Odd Obsession fell short of a $25,000 fundraising goal and lost a potential private investor, according to the post.
“We had hoped something could be figured out, but surely the above, coupled with the shutdown, has delivered a quite conclusive verdict for the time being,” the post said. “We are unspeakably sad to announce that there’s no choice but to shutter the shop at this juncture, as ownership and management cannot continue to cover the shop’s losses …”
Odd Obsession opened in 2004. Since its inception the shop’s collection of movies grew from 4,000 titles to more than 25,000.
In 2012, shop owner Brian Chankin told DNAinfo Odd Obsession survived thanks in large part to loyal neighbors.
“We keep our expenses low and are lucky that we have customers with discriminating tastes who come in regularly,” he said.
In recent years, however, a lot of those loyal patrons have vanished as rents went up and streaming platforms became more popular, volunteer Lee Kepraois told Block Club last year.
Meanwhile, costs — rent, licensing fees, etc. — have risen.
For now, the 25,000+ films will be temporarily stored in “hibernation,” according to the Facebook post.
Odd Obsession supporters and members can reach out with questions by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.