British Columbia

Vancouver rental store Limelight Video prepares to close

One of the only remaining video stores in the city is shutting its doors at the end of next month. Limelight Video says it can't compete any longer with Netflix and video streaming services.

After 33 years in business, one of the only remaining local video stores can no longer compete with Netflix

Newton puts his collection of 28,000 DVDs and VHS tapes up for sale, before Limelight Video closes at the end of March. (CBC/Julianne Hazlewood)

Netflix killed the video store.

That's what happened to Limelight Video, one of the only remaining rental stores in Vancouver, according to owner Donald Newton.

"Business was good before Netflix and streaming video, but video rentals are gone forever," said Newton.

After 33 years in business, Limelight Video, is closing its doors on March 31. 

Over the past five years, profits dropped by half and property taxes kept going up at the store's Alma and Broadway location.

"It's a shame. You can't run a business while you're losing money," said Newton.

The closure will leave just one other video store open in the city and only a few others in the rest of the province, according to Newton.

Victoria Datsko rents films from Limelight Video every week with her 14-year-old daughter, Isabella Hohol.

It's like saying goodbye to a close friend- Victoria Datsko

"I did my homework. I got to come here and get a movie. It was one of the best rewards," said Hohol, while holding a stack of DVDs.

The closure is a big loss for the community, said Datsko.

"Sad is an understatement, It's part of the neighbourhood, part of our weekly routine.

"It's like saying goodbye to a close friend," said Datsko.

The store specializes in foreign and independent films. 

Jonathan Parkin says he'll have trouble finding his favourite, nostalgic films anywhere else. 

"[The store] is like stepping into the past," Parkin said.

"It's like when I was a kid. Smells just like the old video store."

Newton is selling the store's 18,000 DVDs and 10,000 VHS tapes, before the store closes next month.

"I think the schlocky, Hollywood films will be the last ones to go. People are grabbing the hard-to-find films right now," said Newton.

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