'We're still hopeful': Why Glebe Video's Peter Senecal is banking on a DVD resurgence

When it comes to how most people consume movies, renting a DVD's not typically the first method that comes to mind. Peter Senecal's banking on that changing.

Ottawa cinephile hopes that — much like vinyl — DVDs will make a comeback

Peter Senecal bought Glebe Video and its collection of some 18,000 DVDs four years ago. He's hoping that renting movies rather than streaming them online will make a resurgence. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Ottawa movie buffs: when was the last time you rented a DVD?

The popularity of online streaming — both legal and not-so-legal — has made the humble plastic disc a bit of a relic. But don't tell that to Peter Senecal, the owner of Glebe Video International and its stash of some 18,000 DVDs.

Senecal bought the Bank Street store four years ago, and says he's now counting — perhaps somewhat counterintuitively — on a resurgence in the DVD rental market. 

"Unquestionably, it was in a sense, quite risky," Senecal told Giacomo Panico, host of CBC's In Town And Out.

But as Senecal points out, by the time legal streaming services like Netflix and iTunes begin offering new releases, they've already been on his shelves for weeks.

That fact — along with his store's extensive documentary and international film section — gives the small handful of DVD rental businesses that remain in Ottawa a slight edge, he says.

Then, Senecal adds, there's also the chance to talk film with another human being.

"Yes, it's tight for us. We're just hanging on. But we're still hopeful," Senecal says.

"We see what's happened with vinyl. We see what's happening with books now. And I think unquestionably, this is a superior way of viewing film."

Listen to Senecal's In Town And Out interview here.