No matter the latest craze or fad, Cinema 1 is still going strong at the Georgian Mall.
Located on the lower level of the mall, the local movie store has been open for five years with thousands upon thousands of movies available for purchase. Specializing in DVD, BluRay as well as movie collectibles, the one-stop shop’s manager Cameron Cusick has been with the store since day one in Barrie and the internet may have killed movie rental places, but hasn’t hurt them.
“Internet outside the city is unreliable so people that don’t download or pirate or do illegal things come to us and so we survive,” said Cusick. “The fact that everyone else is falling actually means we’re going to stick around longer; it’s sad but the HMV bankruptcy for example only made our business grow.”
Cinema 1 began in Guelph in 1992 when VHS was all the rage. Since then, the company has expanded to six other locations in Barrie, Burlington, Cambridge, Hamilton, London and Windsor. Despite a new generation taking over the movie watching experience, it appears that people still want to own their favourite movie title or TV series. Cusick says there are several titles and genres that are popular with the store and Cinema 1 has it.
“Most of the popular stuff are the classics and the Brit-Coms or stuff that usually hard to find; our customers know we’ll have it,” said Cusick. “New releases we do very well on, but the younger generation are the techno-savvy ones and they’ll do what they do to get the movies they want, but the hard to find stuff including the Anime genre, we do well with that.”
Downloading can be inexpensive but also comes with its problems. Cusick knows that the internet is everywhere but every now and then you want to be assured that it is going to be a movie night.
“If the internet goes down you can just pop in a DVD and watch it,” said Cusick. “I don’ think we’ll ever lose the want to own a physical copy of something, just like with books; electronic books are okay, but everyone like the feel of the pages. It’s also great to have the physical copy if you’re a collector or really like that movie or series that makes you just need to have it. We get a lot of regulars in here who collect certain genres or chapters in a series; we are rarely slow.”
Cusick reminds everyone that just as has always been in the movie selling business, Tuesday is new releases day and you’ll want to get in early to make sure the title you want is still there. As well, if you’re shopping for that special someone at Christmas time, plan ahead is the advice from Cinema 1.
“Christmas is completely the busiest time for us without a doubt,” said Cusick. “When you’re stuck for something to get that last person on your list what do you do? Get them a movie; get them a comedy or Christmas film even. We do well because the truth the movie watching experience will absolutely never go away, and whatever you want is right here and available.”