Believe it or not, there is life after Netflix.
As DVD rental stores across the city shuttered this past summer, the announcement of the forthcoming closure of Videomatica was one that particularly affected the local cinephile community. On May 5, Videomatica owner Graham X Peat declared that he would be closing his 28-year-old Kitsilano video rental store.
But that's not the end of the story.
Efforts are currently being made to raise funds to save the rental collection and have a university acquire it for posterity.
What's more is that Peat has just revealed plans for Videomatica Sales to stay open—in a new location.
Yes, true believers, Videomatica co-owner Graham X Peat will be moving Videomatica Sales across the street to fellow indie store Zulu Records (1976 West 4th Avenue).
Peat told the Straight by phone that there's still demand for Blu-ray and DVD sales. Because they weren't able to open up at a new location on their own, they regard this option, moving their store within the Zulu store, as a "good compromise".
"We've been talking about it for months from the time we first realized that the rentals was an unworkable situation and that we couldn't afford a store that big on 4th Avenue," Peat said. "But the truth is sales is not like rentals. It's still very steady and there's still quite a bit of demand for physical media so all our rabid collector types are saying, 'Wait a minute, what do we do without you? There's so few stores now where we can buy this kind of thing.' And they'd rather buy from knowledgeable people."
Peat thinks Zulu, which used to be located only a few doors down from the current Videomatica location (1855 West 4th Avenue), will be an "ideal partner" because of the similarities between the two businesses. Both will remain separate entities.
Peat said the space Videomatica Sales will inhabit will be about a third of one side of Zulu. "It's not huge but it's certainly not a Sears catalogue counter. So we'll have room for special order and new releases and some catalogue and some previously viewed and I think it'll be pretty well-rounded. I think it’ll be enough to make a presence."
Zulu founder Grant McDonagh said by phone that Videomatica Sales will be located in the "backside of where vinyl currently is". He assured that its presence won't replace music stock—they'll be condensing other areas to make room for the DVD sales.
McDonagh also sees Zulu benefiting from Videomatica's presence. "In some ways, you could say that just like they wouldn't have perhaps as many people just going exclusively for movies, we might not have had as many people exclusively for music coming in as the old days because of technology. It'd be nice to have two things happening in our building."
Videomatica Sales will open in the Zulu Records store in early November.
You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.