|Music Traders became home to Movie Village after it closed|
This was not a cheap form of entertainment. In 1977, JVC introduced the first VCR for home use which included the ability to record for 2 hours. The cost was just under $1500. In today's dollars, it would be like a family spending $5500. Sony's Betamax released in 1975 was also priced in the $1500 range. The early movies available like Bridge on the River Kwai and Butch Cassidy had to ordered from a catalogue and were not inexpensive. Blank tapes were $20 or over $70 in today's dollars and movie tapes were $50 to $100 each which in today's dollars meant movies started at over $150 and up!
It is easy to see why the rental market for videos was the way to go. It was very expensive for the early adopters. I remember seeing a Betamax machine in 1979 at a friend's house. It was a huge box and worth a down payment on a home during those years. And that is no exaggeration. I recall not being impressed by the movies. None were new and I was not familiar with Hello, Dolly! or The King and I except seeing them at Rainbow Stage. Like a lot of people at the time, I longed for Star Wars.
In my house we only got cable and a colour TV a few years earlier. Videon arrived in Winnipeg on the west side of the Red River in 1968. We had a black and white TV at the time. The screen wasn't huge but the cabinetry around it was. Cable even at $5 a month was a lot for my family so we didn't pick it up until late 1971. We only got a colour TV in 1973. It was only a year earlier that pretty much all prime TV from the U.S. was broadcast in colour.
My family would not be the first to get a VCR. However, the availability of videos and places to rent them sort of reached a critical mass around 1981. It was Christmas that year and in 1982 that many people got as a family gift, a VCR. For my family it was 1982 and for me the main reason was so I could see Star Wars which was being made available for the first time as a rental.
It was in 1981 or 1982 that the first video rental place in my neighbourhood on Academy Road near Lanark Street opened. The store was inside what used to be a sporting good store owned by present Royal Sports owners.
Video Zone on Academy Road had one wall of Beta tapes and the other wall had VHS. For some time, I believe you could even rent a Betamax to watch your rented video. Not sure when Adi's arrived on Academy Road but I thought a year or two later. Multiples of certain video stores started to arrive until there was well over a hundred and perhaps just under 200 store renting videos if you eventually included adult and 7/11 stores.
I am going to list as many of the defunct video stores by the street and cross street as I can. I am not going to remember all of them at all so will require assistance from you the trusted reader! Any details on the store will be appreciated as well. Expect this to be updated often.
Video Zone: Lanark Street. Early arrival to the video rental business.
Adi's Video: Oak Street, one of a number Adi's.
Windsor Video: 1069 Autumnwood
SIR Video: Later Rogers Video
Just New Releases: Lanark Street at Corydon Village Mall
Adi's Video: Tuxedo Village Mall
Bill's Home Video: At Meadowood. Now a Liqour Mart across from St. Vital Centre
Goulet Viideo: 145 Goulet...now a Goodwill.
Jumbo Video: Kenaston Village Mall which was replaced by a Rogers Video.
Rogers Video: Kenaston Village Mall across from Superstore at Grant
Blockbuster Video: Grant Park Shopping Mall
Blockbuster Video: Charleswood Shopping Mall
Adi's Video: At Martin Street
Jumbo Video: Later Blockbuster Video at 12 Lakewood
Country Video: 35 Lakewood Southdate Centre...now a Pet Valu.
Movie Village: Rosyln Road. Huge selection and one of the longest lasting at that location before moving next door to Music Traders
Blockbuster Video: Wardlaw...now a Snap Fitness.
St. Boniface Video: Beside Hair Passion
Rogers Video - McLeod between Gateway and London
The Video Superstore (TVS): Later best Sleep Centre
Movie Gallery: Garfield Street. Now Gooch's Bike Shop
Rogers Video: Charleswood Square at Dieppe Road
Pick-A-Flick: Between Sparrow and Dale...later to Forest Park Mall (Charleswood Mall)
Video Den: Sparrow and Dale strip mall after Pick-A-Flick
Pick-A-Flick - Springfield and Raleigh
Blockbuster - Springfield and Henderson
St. Mary's Road
Bill's Video - Across from Tim Horton's
Adi's Video: 414 Westmount