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North Coast Video From the outside, with its red-pressboard and black-wire shelving, North Coast Video looks like your average VHS graveyard. But owner David Levy, who took over the place in 1992, has amassed a superior collection of some 15,000 DVD titles. Along with recent commercial releases you’ll find hundreds of obscure foreign, documentary, and underground titles, everything from Dusan Makavejev’s WR: Mysteries of the Organism to Robert Bresson’s Mouchette to Sergei Eisenstein’s Que Viva Mexico to Kino Video’s Avant Garde 2: Experimental Cinema 1928-1954. There are no sections—the entire collection is organized alphabetically—so you might as well give yourself over to happenstance. If there’s something you can’t find, scribble it on the wish list at the counter and you may find it next time you come in. Most DVDs rent for $4, and you can keep them four days, which is a better deal than you’ll get at Facets Videotheque, the store’s closest competitor to the north. Sun-Thu 10 AM-10 PM, Fri-Sat 10 AM-midnight, 2014 W. Division, 773-227-0664. —J.R. Jones
Theater & Performance
Chopin Theatre This onetime nickelodeon was slated for demolition when its current owner, Zygmunt Dyrkacz, bought it in 1990, calling it At the Gallery Theatre. Two years later he restored its original name. With a 226-seat main theater, a 176-seat cabaret studio, an art gallery, and a cafe named for Chicago literary giant Nelson Algren, the Chopin specializes in multicultural and avant-garde theater, performance, film, spoken word, and visual art. Besides importing experimental European ensembles, it has hosted some of Chicago’s most adventurous fringe companies. Currently running are Theater Oobleck’s political satire The Strangerer (through 5/11) and the Hypocrites’ rendition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (through 6/8). Upcoming presentations include Towle’s Hill, a play commissioned by California’s Gundlach Bundschu winery in honor of its sesquicentennial (6/5); the Strange Tree Group’s staging of Emily Schwartz’s “newest macabre masterpiece,” The Mysterious Elephant (6/9-7/20); and the Signal Ensemble Theatre production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party (7/21-8/31). 1543 W. Division, 773-278-1500, chopintheatre.com. —Albert Williams
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