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BEST PLACE TO RENT FOREIGN FILMS Minneapolis 2003 - World Beat Video

The devastating loss of Cedar Avenue's Intercontinental Video to fire last year (it may yet reopen, we're told) has cleared the field in this category for the store's longtime runner-up just down the street near the corner of Riverside. For years World Beat & Video has had its own distinct virtues as a warehouse of intercontinental video, including a basement full of essential esoterica from far and wide: African (and African-American) titles from the scarcely stocked Mypheduh and California Newsreel labels, Hong Kong action imports by the hundreds, and rows of Russian movies without translation (not even on the dust jackets!). On the main floor is a budding collection of rarified DVDs, including a treasure trove of Bollywood titles that flip like hotcakes between members of the cities' Somali community. Whether World Beat can hold onto its new title if and when Intercontinental gets back in the biz will depend on how much of the latter's irreplaceable inventory survived damage from heat and flame. But whatever the case, the Twin Cities do seem large enough for two world-class purveyors of global video--even in the same neighborhood.

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