A lot of libraries rent movies. But how many offer “Boogie Nights,” “Samurai Rebellion” and the Swedish TV series “Scenes from a Marriage” starring Ingmar Bergman?

The Portland Public Library has begun circulating the DVDs inherited from the beloved Portland video store Videoport, which closed in August. The store’s founder, Bill Duggan, donated Videoport’s stock of 18,000 DVDs to the library to keep the movies available to Portland movie fans.

Instead of paying money to rent them, people can watch them for free.

And instead of descending into a Middle Street basement, people can browse hundreds of titles neatly ordered among the library’s well-lit white shelves. The library setting, with its carpet, comfy chairs and ferns, feels vastly different from the location that Videoport shared with Bull Moose and Casablanca Comics. Those businesses gave Portland its character, and helped define the city as a place wise to music, movies and the graphic arts.

The library is rolling out the collection slowly, adding new titles monthly, said library director Sarah Campbell. The initial offering, with Westerns, dramas, classics, comedies and sci-fi, augments the library’s existing collection of movies and has been “very popular,” Campbell said.

“I miss Videoport, so it’s good to see them back in some form or another,” Cory Legassie of Portland said as he considered his options on New Year’s weekend.


Videoport operated for 28 years, outlasting most trends and fads that doomed the big video rental chains and spawned high-speed streaming. It survived because of its expertise. Its nerdy staff knew everything about movies, and never turned down a chance to make a suggestion for an obscure or obvious film. In the end, rising rents forced Duggan out.

CJ Lampman was among the Videoport devotees. “It was a place people came to talk about movies that matter to them in meaningful ways,” he said. “There’s always going to be an attachment to a place like that.”

Lampman is part of the creative team at the Portland video production company p3. The firm made an end-of-year video tribute to Duggan and Videoport, to celebrate the store and its legacy. The five-minute documentary includes interviews with Duggan, former employees and customers.

“It was a place a lot of people went to escape,” Lampman said. “It was the place to go to find a movie that was a little bit different or consult with someone who could give you suggestions you never would have thought about. You could really prowl around for movies in there.”

P3 distributed the video to clients and friends.

“We want to celebrate the gift that Bill gave to Portland, which is this amazing collection of films. It’s such a generous gift,” Lampman said.

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