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No more sequels: Winnipeg video rental store set to close after 40 years


For people of a certain age, watching a movie at home was a multi-step process –you had to get into your car, and drive to a video rental place.

Those days are rapidly becoming just a memory. But not for people living in Transcona. For four decades, a local video store there called Video King has been going strong.

"It was Beta and VHS, and those were the days," said Video King owner Glen Fuhl. "And then we transitioned into DVD, and 2007 was Blu-ray, and then in 2016 we went to 4k."

But he won't be around to see the next revolution in physical media.

Fuhl, a councillor for the RM of Springfield is abdicating his throne as the Video King, and after 40 years in business, the store will soon be closing its doors.

"It is a bittersweet story," said Fuhl. "You know, it's celebrating our 40th anniversary as of March 1st, and then announcing that we're closing."

Video King survived until now, while other video stores like Blockbuster fell by the wayside over the years. But Fuhl says the pandemic, combined with the rise in streaming services, doomed his Transcona store.

The Transcona Biz says the impending closure is a loss to the neighbourhood.

"We have a lot of small businesses in this area that are unique to our community," said Executive Director Leila Dance. "It's a small town feel, and Glen has played a significant role in that. So he will be missed."

But before he goes, everything must go!

Fuhl is selling off movies, clothing and posters --122,000 items to be precise.

"I have a list of them. I know exactly what's on each pile," said Fuhl. "The only problem is, if a customer wants a title that's way down here (on the bottom of the pile), I gotta move all this to get to it."

So it may take a while to find new homes for all of them.

Of course, he will have some extra time once the store closes for the final time on April 6th.

Still, while this store may be closing, the Video King isn't completely getting out of the video rental business.

Fuhl runs a distribution network for hundreds of rural stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario – and said he plans to keep that going for as long as people keep renting.

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