The Gorehound’s Playground is a horror lover’s dream, though you might not realize it from the outside looking in. It’s a simple storefront in a shopping center in Fort Collins, Colorado that looks almost like any other.
Once you open the door and step inside, however, it’s a bit like being transported back in time. There are racks of movies that you can rent stacked next to DVDs and Blu Rays to buy, and every title is either horror, sci-fi, or one of the countless cult classics we fans have embraced over the decades.
Most likely, you’ll find Jeff Abbott, the store’s owner, waiting to fill you in on everything the store he has patiently and meticulously curated has to offer.
“Everything on the racks can be rented,” he explains. “Even the titles that we have for sale because some of them are a bit pricey and I know you don’t want to be stuck with a movie you don’t like AND be out the cash you spent on it at the same time.”
So, if you find a film that interests you, but you’re not ready to commit, all you have to do is pay down a deposit for the total cost of the DVD or Blu Ray.
If you take it home and love it, call Jeff and let him know and you’ve just added a new film to your collection. If however, you decide it just isn’t for you, you can take the video back to the store for a full refund on your deposit, no questions asked.
He’ll also sell you any of his rentals that he has in stock if you find something you just can’t live without. He’ll look it up on Amazon and all you’ll pay is the cost to have it replaced in his stacks.
It’s the kind of sweet deal you just don’t hear about anymore, but it’s just one of the perks of shopping at The Gorehound’s Playground. Aside from movies, they have a host of t-shirts, posters, and various collectibles to fit every genre fan’s wish list.
Once he’s shown you around the store, Jeff will point you through a curtain that separates the front of the shop from the back, and that’s when this place goes from cool to awesome.
Jeff has set up a small theater area that seats about 25 people on a variety of comfortable couches. Films play every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night and the cost of admission is only $8, a small price to pay to hang out with fellow fans to watch your favorite films.
“Thursday night, we do sci-fi and fantasy films; Fridays are for cult classics, and Saturday nights we do a horror double feature,” Abbott says. “We’re trying to build a community around what we’re doing, and we’re reaching out to artists and independent filmmakers, as well, to give them a place to show their work to the public.”
On the day we were there, they were getting ready for a Re-Animator double feature. Taking a look at their upcoming scheduled double features you’ll find Deep Red playing alongside The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Deathgasm teamed with Evils of the Night.
In addition to the theater, the back area of the store also has a section set aside for playing various themed board and card games.
“Everything on the racks is a demo, so if you want to come in a play a round or two before you decide to buy, I’m all about that,” he points out, following the theme of his video rentals. “We also have kids who come in from the local high school to play Magic: The Gathering after school, and it’s really cool to be able to provide a place for that.”
What is apparent from beginning to end as Jeff shows you around the store is that he is passionate about what he’s doing, and he believes it fills a real void for genre fans.
“I wanted a place where people who loves these movies can get together and watch them,” he says. “These movies are meant to be seen with other fans and we’re providing a place for that to happen.”
The store is doing well after only a few months in business, and while Abbott is enjoying the success of his location, he does have bigger long-term goals.
“I think every college town in the country would support an establishment like this,” he says. “I think there’s a place for this kind of business everywhere and hopefully we will be able to see that happen in the future.”
As I walked out of his store with shopping bags filled with movies, t-shirts, and even a Clive Barker tarot deck, I couldn’t help but think that he was absolutely right.
For more information on The Gorehound’s Playground you can follow them on Facebook and check out their website. And, if you should find yourself in Fort Collins, Colorado, head to 1125 W. Drake Road Unit B-6, and check it out in person!