Although the lights were dim, it was still possible to see the mass of bodies that filled Honey Moon Mead & Cider to capacity. Members of the Bellingham community came to a fundraising event to support Film is Truth, a locally owned video rental store.
Dee Dee Chapman, manager of Film is Truth 24 Times a Second, organized the fundraiser on Saturday, April 4. The event raised around $500, Chapman said.
The event was created so the non-profit corporation could acquire funds to stay in business, she said.
Film is Truth’s first-ever fundraiser included multiple forms of entertainment, including poetry, music and a puppet show.
The event started with a poetry reading. Carol Guess, a Western English professor, read poems to the audience. Film is Truth is one of the first businesses she visited when she came to Bellingham 16 years ago, Guess said.
“I’ve shaped my syllabus more than once around film suggestions from Film is Truth,” Guess said.
One of the benefits of a video rental store is that it employs people who are knowledgeable about film history and can help people select films, Guess said.
In a generation that has access to streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix, it is rare to see a video store still in operation these days, Chapman said.
Film is Truth can provide a movie collection that is tangible, unlike the streaming services, Chapman said. Streaming platforms could stop showing a movie that customers want at any moment, but Film is Truth has a stable collection.
The store, unlike most major streaming services, has a local connection.
“We’re looking to inspire and uplift filmmakers in the region,” Chapman said. “We respond to customer requests and get what people are looking for,” she said.
Following the poetry portion of the evening, Bellingham resident Scott Casey performed a puppet show to a monologue from the movie, “Paris, Texas.”
Casey utilized the dim atmosphere of the bar to create an otherworldly effect within his puppet show, which included silhouetted skeletons and cats.
After the puppet show, local band Falling Up Stairs performed to various clips from different movies. The clips were displayed on a TV set up behind the band.
Ryan Wapnowski, saxophonist for Falling Up Stairs, said he has been visiting Film is Truth for 10 of the 11 years he has lived in Bellingham.
“They care about the most important things in life: art, film, community and sustainability,” Wapnowski said.
Chapman said it is very important for the community to have access to a broad film history. Film is Truth carries all types of movies, from big blockbusters to small indies, because those films show different aspects of the industry, she said.
Chapman plans to have a similar type of event every three to four months, she said.