Another Island movie outlet fades to black

Add Ucluelet to the video-rental-free zone

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.

“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 camaraderie between your customers and what you’re providing them…It’s very sad.”

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.

Just Posted

City of Parksville to look into cost, process of beach cleanup

Cleanup would include removing rotten logs, adding sand

RCMP ask Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses for help battling thieves

‘With your assistance forensic evidence could be located for prosecution’

Early morning break-in at Parksville Dairy Queen

Oceanside RCMP said incident occurred at 1:50 a.m. on April 17

Police roundup: Thieves hit Qualicum Beach coffee shop, Parksville hardware store

Bailey’s in the Village was broken into early Sunday morning

Dashwood looks to build new $4M firehall

RDN will seek the endorsment of the community

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Contaminated soil to stay at contentious Shawnigan Lake site?

Reaction: “The community would lose their minds if this plan proceeds.”

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Limits on chinook sport fishing could cause devastating economic ripples

Vancouver Island fishing guides concerned over salmon sport catch reductions to save declining stock

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Snowbirds arrive on Vancouver Island for annual spring training

VIDEO: Acrobatic air team back in Comox for annual spring training

Vancouver Island restaurant among Canada’s most sustainable eateries

Locals in Courtenay only B.C. or small city establishment to make the top six list

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Most Read