When some people close doors, others open theirs

Jim Barr has thousands of videos in store that
Jim Barr has thousands of videos in store that's defying market trends.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

What do you do if you’re a movie fan and you see the big chains abandoning the DVD video rental business, closing their stores, one by one, across the country?

You open up a DVD video rental store.

Which is what Jim Barr did last February after Rogers Video and Blockbuster closed their Maple Ridge locations in the 12 months previous.

“I tend to swim upstream,” Barr said from his store on Dewdney Trunk Road.

Barr and his wife Tiffany opened Little Shop of Movies in a small strip mall on Dewdney Trunk Road at 227th Street last Feb. 1 and says they’re doing well.

It’s the only video rental store in town. “So far, so good,” he says.

Just last week, the shop had its 2,000th customer, with more to follow.

Little Shop of Movies has probably one of the sweeter spots in town. It’s in the downtown but has lots of parking that’s convenient for thousands of commuters headed to Maple Ridge’s sprawling suburbs to the east.

It’s located in a strip mall that also has Sushi Gozen, Anthony’s Fine Cleaners and Papa John’s Pizza, allowing busy commuters to make one stop, for food, clean clothes and a movie for the night.

“This whole strip mall is like a huge, symbiotic relationship.”

Barr though didn’t just open because it was a business venture. He likes movies and likes talking about them and telling his customers as well.

“Most of the older ones [DVDs)]were mine. I’ve seen a few movies in my time.

“I’m kind of like a little catalogue.”

The store has 6,000 titles, including 250 top movies of all time, as judged by, a movie website.

Barr said his clientele are in all age brackets. And unlike cable video rentals, people can see and touch the movies they are renting, he points out.

While DVDs haven’t yet slipped into the obsolesence of VHS movies, Barr says that day may arrive, around the time Sony figures out to stream its high-quality Blu-ray movies online.

Little Shop of Movies is online ( Facebook and Twitter.

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