Community

Free Movie Library Exchange Debuts in D.C. Area

A new way for people who love to watch movies or exchange them is being offered by the innovative Bluetape Movies service, a free library based on the old Blockbuster setup.

Ryan Daley, owner of the Arlington, Virginia-based movie exchange, which also has an outlet on Capitol Hill in D.C., presented the idea during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for people to select movies without having to have too much interaction with crowds.

“I visited every thrift store and pawn shop in the D.C. area and handpicked over 100 different movie titles to put in each rack,” Daley said. “I wanted to bring Blockbuster back in a cool way for nostalgic movie lovers like myself. People are not going out as much, even as some restrictions have been lifted. Our free film service makes up for not going to movie theaters as much as moviegoers used to.”

This year, according to Daley, people in the D.C. community have been discussing a fun, free alternative to streaming and in-person movies, resulting in him finding three sturdy newspaper stands that he converted into movie racks. The film racks were placed in various parks throughout the D.C. area, which has led to a resurgence of community exchange and goodwill as the “world opens back up,” Daley said.

“I’ve contacted people in the neighborhoods who said that free libraries have been welcomed and that no one would take advantage. As a result, we have seen thriving, free libraries. Each rack operates on a ‘take a movie, leave a movie’ honor system,” Daley said, adding that public libraries, bookstores and film lovers are welcome to donate DVDs to the Bluetape free library.

Bluetape Movies can be found on Instagram @bluetapemovies. For more information, go to bluetapemovies.com.

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