Vinegar Syndrome Toronto
Vinegar Syndrome is the place you want to be if you're a Toronto cinephile.
The wildly popular American film restoration and distribution company, Vinegar Syndrome opened its very first Canadian storefront on October 27. They are already a hit in the city, with lineups outside the door each day when they open.
The director of Canadian operations, Andy Williams, credits this in part to the Instagram live sessions hosted by their social media and music manager, Chris Colohan, to share which new titles they have in store.
Williams says that there was already a massive fan base for the company across the country. For approximately the last five years, Vinegar Syndrome has shipped thousands of films to Canada-based genre cinema lovers. This high demand led to the company ultimately setting up shop in Toronto.
With locations in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, Toronto's storefront is unique in that it's the only one of the three that has a window in the front, allowing them to set up displays showing off the unique collections and niche merchandise in-store.
The display window is just a small taste of the variety offered inside, though. The shop is full of rare films on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray, stacks of vintage vinyl, cassette tapes, books, comics, old film posters on the walls, and decor referencing countless films (fans of The Shining might notice a familiar-looking carpet near the front of the store).
But it doesn't stop there. The soon-to-be-opened basement will also be packed with shirts, posters, vinyl, and films.
A major part of what makes Vinegar Syndrome special is the focus on film restoration and distribution. Having a brick-and-mortar location also invites conversation and community.
If you visit the shop, their passionate team is more than happy to have a chat about films and to make recommendations. It's an experience engaging with culture that can't be matched by scrolling through a streaming network.
The store carries many of the well-known cult classics, but they also offer lesser-known titles produced between the '60s, and '80s - many of which never received proper releases.
Their vinyl collection is just as varied as their film selection, carrying everything from soundtracks to blues albums, to rock and folk. The store even features comic books that are prequels and sequels of the films they sell.
Not only can you buy here - the store also purchases new and used collections of Blu-rays, DVDs, records, and books to flip and sell.
There is still a film vault packed with old and rare titles at the Vinegar Syndrome warehouse in Connecticut waiting to be scanned and digitized at their in-house lab, so while there is already a huge selection available now, there is plenty more to come. The company releases 4-6 new titles every month.
Vinegar Syndrome is located at 399 Roncesvalles Ave.