From Bowdoin College:
Bart D’Alauro ’95 has found a home for a good portion of his enormous DVD collection. At the end of 2017, he was forced to close his downtown Brunswick movie rental store, Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion, after fifteen years. Despite being beloved by local film buffs, including many members of the Bowdoin community, the growth in popularity of video-streaming services like Netflix and Hulu meant the business could just not stay afloat.
The store’s closure left D’Alauro with more than 35,000 DVDs on his hands—a treasure trove of offerings from the world of the moving picture: movies, documentaries, and TV shows from all over the world, including some extremely rare items. Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick agreed to take some of the DVDs earlier this year, and now Bowdoin College has announced it intends to acquire a further 6,000 titles.
“I’m really happy that many of the films I treasure most from the Bart & Greg’s collection will find a home at Bowdoin where they’ll continue to be accessible for appreciation and study,” says D’Alauro, who works on the staff of the College library. Despite the rise of streaming services in recent years, he says, physical media remain the only “sure-fire way to guarantee that a particular movie you want to see will be available to watch when you want to watch it.” This, he adds, is underlined by the impending demise of the classic movie streaming site FilmStruck.
This point is echoed by Marjorie Hassen, director of the Bowdoin College Library, which subscribes to electronic services for much of its films—14,000 titles in all—but still keeps a sizeable collection of DVDs. “Online services are wonderful,” she says, “but since we license, rather than own, these films the vendor can remove titles without warning. Every semester, we hear from at least one faculty member who’s planning to use a particular film in their class, and finds that it’s gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So even though DVDs are waning in terms of consumer popularity, they remain important for teaching.”