Sunday, May 10, 2015

Defunct Video Stores of Winnipeg

Music Traders became home to Movie Village after it closed
The first video rental store in North America came in 1977 in Los Angeles when 20th Century Fox was in financial trouble. Despite the blockbuster Star Wars released in the same year, some studios were bleeding money because of older and decaying movie theatres and audiences who were turning to TV in greater numbers. To combat this at the behest of Magnetic Video, 20th Century Fox released 50 older films for the Betamax and VHS rental market.

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.

Academy Road:

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

Corydon Avenue:

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 a Goodwill.

Grant Avenue:

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

Henderson Highway:

Adi's Video: At Martin Street


Jumbo Video: Later Blockbuster Video at 12 Lakewood
Country Video: 35 Lakewood Southdate 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: a Snap Fitness.


St. Boniface Video: Beside Hair Passion 


Rogers Video - McLeod between Gateway and London


The Video Superstore (TVS): Later best Sleep Centre
Video Den
Adi's Video
Portage Avenue:

Movie Gallery: Garfield Street. Now Gooch's Bike Shop

Roblin Boulevard:

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

Springfield Road

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 


Jesse Dyck said...

Pic-a-flick - springfield and Raleigh
Blockbuster - springfield and Henderson
Rogers video - McLeod between gateway and London

Neil W said...

Pick-a-Flick - Strip mall on Roblin Blvd between Sparrow and Dale, then moved across the street to Park West Mall

Video Stop - Went into the strip mall where Pick-a-Flick was after Pick-a-Flick moved to Park West Mall

Anonymous said...

Blockbuster- Traverse & St. Mary's Road (now Snap Fitness and Taco Del Mar)
Rogers Video - Goulet (Dominion Shopping Centre)- now Peoples Optical
Blockbuster - Dunkirk & Parkville (now Dollarama)
Blockbuster- Osborne Village (now Snap Fitness)

mremis said...

Star Time Video was in Kenaston Village Mall before Rogers Video.
Jumbo Video was in Grant Park Mall before Blockbuster.

Anonymous said...

Video Den was also around at Waverley and Grant Ave in River Heights - just where the Lil Caesers is today

cslusarc said...

in the 80's we got rental videos from Sears @ Kildonan Place, Krahn's Audio-Video on Henderson @ Devon and lots of Mom and Pop video stores.

Steve Meacham said...

Was there not a MAGIC VIDEO somewhere on Grant/Kenaaton before Rogers Video?

jfryza said...

Video Concepts at 1047 McPhillips and they also had a store on Pembina and at 1035 Gateway.

Trentilini said...

Microplay (Jumbo Video’s game focused chain) - Springfield and Henderson, abruptly closed in Fall 2007

Although many Microplays rent movies, the one I mentioned was stuffed in a tiny boardwalk lot so they only rented games. You seem to focus on movie rental stores so it’s up to you!