Sunday, June 13, 2010

Movie night in Prince Rupert may get a little more complicated soon

Rupertites who like to spend their downtime relaxing at home with a good  movie or two may find that selection will be hard to come by in the near future.

The Movie Gallery chain in Canada is preparing to shut 131 of its Canadian locations and while the Prince Rupert site didn't appear on the closure list (an oversight we suspect), it seems that liquidation may be in the cards for the local outlet as well. A press release issued on Friday and published in part in the National Post outlines the details of the liquidation process.

Over the last few weeks customers learned of the cancellation of the popular power play feature at the store, as well as a lack of new titles arriving in town, with some high profile pictures not added to the stores offerings at all.

Anecdotal evidence from the local portal hackingtthemainframe has local residents of the city receiving phone calls advising that all store credits must be used promptly and that the liquidation process is to start next week.

The movie rental chain which is based in the United States has been on the closure watch for a number of months now as it tried to work its way through bankruptcy procedures there and now will do the same in Canada it seems.

The fate of video stores over the last few years has been rather precarious, Blockbuster the huge American video store has also been the subject of much financial troubles of late, recently attempting to secure a 150 million dollar lifeline should the company be forced into Chapter 11 proceedings.

The traditional video store format has come under some fierce competition from any number of directions in the last few years, from such services as netflix and the iTunes store, to pay per view satellite and cable movie distribution as well as the use of peer to peer internet available downloads, deemed by the movie industry as one of its biggest distribution threats.

The pending closure of the Prince Rupert operation will leave the city with no stand alone video store option for customers, smaller stock levels can be found at such locations as Eastwind, Henry's B Y and Canada Safeway but new releases won't be as plentiful as that of the Movie Gallery options over the years.

Beyond the lack of choice for Rupertites, the closure of the store will also add more numbers to the city's unemployment rate as full and part time employees of the local office lose their jobs.

For a full listing of the openings and closings of the year check our Podunkian Business tracker.

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