COLUMN: The end of the video store era

Today it’s difficult if not impossible to find a video store in many communities

In a few days, Homeside Video will close its doors, marking the end of an era for movie watchers in Summerland.

The store had an impressive collection of video cassettes and disks. With more than 12,000 titles, the video store carried everything from the latest releases to classic movies, foreign films, documentaries and some rather obscure titles.

It was fun to browse the shelves at Homeside. At times, when I’d look for one movie, I’d leave with something completely different.

But I haven’t gone in to rent a movie in at least five years.

Today, it’s far more convenient to use a video streaming service such as Netflix to watch the latest releases.

I don’t need to leave the house to pick up and return the video, and I don’t need to worry about late fees. All I need is a good high-speed internet service, something most of us have today.

In late February, when Homeside Video announced it was closing, I felt a touch of nostalgia. This video store had been part of Summerland for the past 28 years. The location was built specifically as a video store.

But I wasn’t surprised by the decision to close. Instead, I was amazed that a video rental store had managed to keep operating in Summerland this long.

Today it’s difficult if not impossible to find a video store in many communities.

The store owner said her decision to close was not because of online movies, but I doubt another video store will open in Summerland as long as movie watchers have access to video on demand services.

Changes in technology mean businesses and services which were once common have now faded away.

It’s hard to find stores specializing in records, cassettes and compact disks these days. I can’t remember the last time I played a record, and I don’t even know where to look to find a cassette tape.

This is not to say that records have become extinct.

The Summerland Library recently held an evening celebration of vinyl records, and there are music collectors who are looking for old records in good condition.

Still, vinyl records are something of a rarity today.

In summer I got rid of my turntable and most of my records. My tastes have changed over the years and the music I once enjoyed no longer stirs me in the same way.

Besides, I can go to online streaming services such as Spotify or I can purchase music as digital downloads.

The demand has also dropped off for typewriter repair services, slide rules, radio tubes, buggy whips, abacuses and other devices which were once common.

But there are also some new businesses, services and technological advances.

On Saturday, at the 80th annual Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards, there were 11 nominees in the Rising Star/New Business Award category. This category is for businesses which have been operating for less than two years.

There are also businesses such as ElectroMotion Energy and Swiss Solar Tech Ltd., which work with innovation and new technology.

These have been around a little too long to qualify for the Rising Star/New Business Award, but they represent some exciting forward-thinking trends.

And other businesses have made changes in order to meet the needs their customers have today.

It would be easy to mourn the loss of businesses and services which were common in past years, but as consumers move away from some products and services, they are also embracing others.

The most successful businesses are the ones which recognize what their customers want and need today and find ways to meet those demands.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

Just Posted

Okanagan RCMP look for owners of various keys located during arrest

RCMP seek to reunite the owners of various keys found at the arrest of suspects in a stolen vehicle.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Summerland ready for marijuana sales

Zoning allows retail sales in downtown and at shopping centre

Summerland trustee candidate promises committee on school closures

Dave Stathers says closure of one school would affect all within Summerland

Summerland housing issues raised at candidate forum

High housing costs, low vacancy rates and lack of affordable housing addressed

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

Most Read