It hung on long after the Blockbusters and Rogers closed their doors, but now Coldstream Video is another victim in the dying breed of movie rental stores.
With the advent of the Internet, Netflix, Crave and other on-demand sources that put hundreds, if not thousands, of movies and shows at the fingertips of viewers, the corner video store is on the endangered list.
“It is sad,” said Colleen Clack, co-owner of Coldstream Video with Jennifer Taylor.
So now the approximately 4,500 videos, plus shelves and fixtures, are for up for grabs. And the owners have decided to turn their loss into a win for kids.
All videos will be sold by donation (with suggested prices) until March 25 in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital.
“One of my friends’ three-year-old kid is down there right now with leukemia,” said Taylor, who hopes to raise $3,500.
“We’ve had a few friends who have had their kids there so we want to support it,” said Clack, who wanted to give back considering the business has done well for her.
In fact, while she has owned the business for 14 years, Coldstream Video (which has been around since 1994) was actually one of her first jobs.
“I used to work at it when I was 18,” said Clack, recalling the days of history when renting a movie was a highlight for families and individuals.
“It was so busy, It was the best. I used to have a lineup down the new release aisle,” she said of the old location in the Alpine Centre but where Vernon Vintners now is.
It was also a big investment back in the day.
“The price of a VHS, a really good movie like Jurassic Park, would’ve been $120 and now you can get (DVDs) for $9.99 or even $5.99.
“It was like $5,000 a month on movies.”
But that was when the only access to videos was at the theatre or the rental store.
“I purchased it (Coldstream Video) and brought it back to life but now it’s had its turn,” said Clack.
It was about five or six years ago that Blockbuster and Rogers Video closed their doors in Vernon, and elsewhere.
“It did well for a couple years,” said Clack. “I celebrated for a year or two.”
Being the sole video rental store in Greater Vernon, aside from a few stores that rent movies, Coldstream Video was special to a number of customers, including all the regulars.
“So many people appreciated that we are here,” said Clack.
Taylor adds: “I had people coming from Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Lumby.”
But the last few years have been a struggle.
“We’ve just been hanging on,” said Clack.
Meanwhile the regulars and those who don’t have access to Netflix are sad to see the last remaining video store in Vernon closing.
“It’s the last video store in town,” said one customer as he was planning to rent a couple videos but ended up buying them.