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Dead Formats convention brings together tape and vinyl lovers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Music and movie lovers young and old gathered at the Black Circle Music Hall Saturday in Indianapolis, bonding over their love of everything retro.

“There is a lot going on in the world right now and I kind of enjoy the simplicity of my phone. Make calls and I can stick this in a VCR,” said 16-year-old Joseph Knebel, as he clutched a handful of VHS tapes, including “Back to the Future” and “Short Circuit”.

Knebel was hoping to sell or trade the tapes at the annual Dead Formats convention.

“It started out as a mainly VHS convention, but it sort of expanded into vinyl betas and CEDs (Capacitance Electronic Disc). Indianapolis has a tight knit relationship with RCA, who developed the CEDS,” said Black Circle owner Jesse Rice.

Rice opened Black Circle as a brewery, but then converted it into a retro-themed bar and music venue.

“We only play VHS at the bar. Black Circle is reference to a vinyl record, so we only play vinyl and VHS here.”

Some of the records and tapes sell for hundreds of dollars, usually for rare titles that make it onto the big screen. Other more common movies on VHS sell for a few dollars.

“These vendors around here are going around the country looking for mom and pop vendors that are either going out of business or went out of business, and had all their stuff and they are just purchasing that stuff,” said Rice.

Some of the vendors say they will be back for GenCon in Indianapolis later this summer.