Billy and Sue Payne are sad to be saying, good bye to the movie rental portion of their Murray’s Grocery business in Ucluelet. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Movie rentals go extinct in Ucluelet

Murray’s Grocery selling off all DVD’s.

Since 1996, Billy Payne has looked forward to the box of new releases that arrived at his Murray’s Grocery convenience store each week.

It’s an experience he’s sad to see evaporate as the convenience store has officially announced it will no longer be renting movies.

Payne’s uncle Murray Payne opened the Peninsula Road store in 1968 and was renting movies from it prior to Billy purchasing the business in 1996. Billy’s wife Sue believes the store has rented movies for over 30 years.

“Back in the day it made pretty good money,” Billy said, adding that the arrival of high-speed fibre optic internet in 2017 was the final nail in the movie rental coffin as faster download speeds made online streaming services more palpable for West Coast residents.

READ MORE: West Coast celebrates high speed internet

“One word, Netflix,” Sue said.

Sue suggested Murray’s was “one of the last holdouts” in the vanishing movie rental industry and added that the store offered a unique one-stop-shop movie night experience where families could pick a movie along with an assortment of treats to enjoy while watching it.

“It’s an institution with Murray’s. Everybody knew us for goodies and movies. So that’s a big part of us that we’re losing and it’s sad,” she said.

Billy added that the news was sad for customers who had enjoyed the now-retro experience.

“We’ve had a lot of people down here that have said, ‘Thank you very much for having the movies here for all this time so we can come down with our kids and our kids can have the experience of renting a movie,’” he said. “That’s the main thing, the comradery between your customers and what you’re providing them…It’s very sad.”

READ MORE: Shopping locally is a time-honoured tradition on the West Coast

Murray’s clerk Kyle Deakin said movie rentals were popular amongst tourists as well and that he’ll miss interacting with customers coming in to rent DVD’s, as well as renting them himself.

“For me, it’s the experience. It’s just fun to look at all of the different covers and decide on a movie,” he said. “There’s a noticeable difference between standing in front of a wall and seeing physical copies as opposed to scrolling on the Internet.”

Sue added that Murray’s frequently supported local community events and fundraisers by offering up free DVD’s and rentals for prizes and auctions.

“We gave to just about everybody,” she said. “And, movies were always a good thing. People would always bid on movies. So, that’s one support that we can no longer give to the community which, again, is sad.”

Murray’s current movie inventory is all up for sale and the Paynes said they are still determining what to do with the space that will open up along the wall that once housed movies.

READ MORE: ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

The long winding road to Tofino-Ucluelet—then and now

If you are feeling frustrated about the Highway 4 closures, sit back read about what came before.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Farm and Garden Show coming to Tofino

Greenthumbs unite at the Tofino Botanical Gardens from Feb. 22-24.

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read