A reel transition — Kelowna's last remaining video rental store set to close

The last video store in Kelowna, B.C., is officially closing its doors — and its extensive collection is now up for sale. 

Leo's Videos was started by Leo Bartels 15 years ago, back when there were 12 other video stores in the Okanagan city.

"I mean, the '80s and '90s were the heyday of movies," Bartels told host Sarah Penton on CBC's Radio West. 

"Well, 15 years ago, they were still holding ... and all of us did fairly well."

With the introduction of TV streaming services and pay-per-view, video stores across the country have shuttered.

Bartels, who is heading back to school and has a new baby on the way, said he realized he couldn't also run his business on top of that.

"I spent four months trying to sell my business and we had 25 people look at it. So we got a good response, but we just didn't get any offers," he said.

The store started selling most of its stock on Friday. Its collection of Disney-related films, Game of Thrones and new releases will only be sold in January when the store is scheduled to close. In the meantime, those titles will still be rented out.

Bartels says he'll miss the work.

"I just loved the business," he said. "You're helping a person have a really nice relaxing evening. If you do a good job, they come back and tell you how great it is [and that's] just a good-feeling job to have."

In the meantime, he's receiving plenty of messages — via phone, text message and Facebook — from devoted customers.

"[They're] sad we're moving on and [there's] excitement that people get to pick up those rare movies they've always wanted."