The days of going to the store, loading up on snacks and renting movies are coming to an end in 100 Mile House. After roughly four decades, A&B Videos is closing its doors.
Allan Roberts, who co-owns the business with his wife April said rental activity has gotten to the point where it’s no longer viable as a business.
“We’ve watched it decline quite a bit over the past 12 months to the point where it’s no longer turning a profit,” said Roberts. “We’re supporting it with other businesses to keep it afloat. We just think the time has come that we have to let it go. Sometimes you can turn certain corners with businesses; you can bring new fresh ideas. This one has no fresh ideas. Every day there’s something else going against it, whether it’s streaming online, pay-per-view, or whether it’s downloading or Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook.”
All DVDs on the store are on sale as of May 6, with it also being the last day of rental activity. From there, the store has started liquidating all of its products.
“We’ve reached the end,” he added.
Roberts said he hopes to get another business within that space, as he would hate to see a papered up window on Birch Avenue.
The Roberts opened the business on April 1, 1982, when they were very young and video rentals was a new and promising business in the “blockbuster era” of movies started by Jaws, Alien and Star Wars.
“At the time, we had a love of movies which was very, very important,” said Roberts. “The reason this business has lasted so long is because of the community and the people that supported it. We realized that it’s never been a movie business, it’s never been a DVD business. It’s a people business. It’s people that have made this last long and as successful, as it was.”
A&B Video has also made the distinction of being the oldest video store in Canada for the past four years. Out of the 5,000 rental stores that existed at one point or another, the Roberts’ business is account number 12 with Entertainment Canada.
“We watched a lot of them come and go. We watched monstrous American franchises come and go. It wasn’t a business model, it was [because] changes in what became available to people. People are saturated with what to do,” explained Roberts. “We know we were very fortunate to have it last this long, but now we have to “close the curtain.”