Stardust Video and Coffee celebrated 16 years of performances, musical numbers and art shows at "The Originals" showcase on Saturday.

Rope lights, paper lanterns, shelves stacked with books and movies and walls adorned with art pieces from local artists are common sights at Stardust.

To commemorate 16 years of art shows, Stardust brought back some of its original artists who were among the first to have their artwork adorning the walls.

"The design is constantly evolving and the ambiance is really about the people," original artist and regular customer Richard Reep said. "It's also a good place for a testing ground. If I make really weird stuff, I always throw it here first to see the public's reaction before I make more [copies] of them."

Reep has been featuring his artwork and coming to Stardust since it opened. He said that it is a good place to get a great cup of coffee, hang out with friends and other locals and discuss ideas and important issues.

Founders Brett and Katherine Bennett opened Stardust in 1999 as a video store, coffee shop and art gallery for local artists.

Over time, Stardust evolved into a combination of a restaurant, full-service bar and music/performance venue to meet the needs of its customers.

Original artist and Stardust employee Doug Rhodehamel said that Stardust is the longest running local art gallery in Orlando.

"We give 100 percent of sales to the artists. We don't take any commission," Rhodehamel said. "If you have anything you want to start, you can do it here. If you're a musician or an artist, we allow pretty much anything. One time, there were some fire-eaters here.

"Every so often, we have something weird happen. At this point, I've gotten used to it."


Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter @atticus_adrift or email him at

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