Whitehorse's last video-rental store closes its doors

'Every week was great,' said Coyote Video owner Cory Adams. (Mike Rudyk - image credit)
'Every week was great,' said Coyote Video owner Cory Adams. (Mike Rudyk - image credit)

20 years ago, when Whitehorse's Coyote Video first opened, it was a ritual for many people — stop by after work to drop off last night's rental (and avoid a late fee), then read the 'Please Be Kind and Rewind' sign at the till and think, "did I rewind?"

Then they might browse the thousands of VHS movies on the shelves, rent one or two, and head home.

It was an experience.

But technology has changed and it's safe to say the days of the home video rental business are long gone. On Monday, Coyote Video will close its doors for good.

"Every week was great," said owner Cory Adams.

"Because I'd get new shipments every week and it was like Christmas. So you open up new boxes, new movies, new titles, especially back before the internet, and it was always great to see."

Mike Rudyk/CBC
Mike Rudyk/CBC

Now, most people pick a movie from the comfort of their homes, with a variety of streaming services and unlimited internet.

Adams says times have changed, though not everyone has given up on DVDs. He has a loyal customer base that would still browse his Porter Creek store for rental movies, albeit not on VHS.

"It's kind of an end-of-an-era type of thing. I mean, all these streaming services are taking over," said David Francey, a long-time Coyote Video customer.

"I'm glad my kids got to experience a little bit of it before the streaming took over."

Adams says it's going to be tough to shut down.

Mike Rudyk/CBC
Mike Rudyk/CBC

"We had a bad 2021 year. And last four or five months, it was starting to come back up to normal," he said.

Finding staff, though, has been a real challenge.

"Unfortunately, with the labour market the way it is, I had to make a choice. And, it's been a sad day, and I'm upset about selling it because I do have a lot of fun doing it."

He says he is going to miss the customers who come into his store and walk the aisles to find the movie that brings a smile to their faces.

"I want to say thank you. I mean, it's been a great 20 years, and I wish I could have continued, it would have been fantastic," he said.

"But it's the new times."

Mike Rudyk/CBC
Mike Rudyk/CBC