Roger Ayles, formerly of Revelstoke, died suddenly on Wednesday, May 19, at his home in Salmon Arm, his long-time friend Bob Eley said Friday night.
“Roger is known as the guy who reopened the Roxy theatre after it was shutdown for a number of years,” Eley said. “He started Video Express in the lobby of the theatre and later opened it as a stand-alone business. He developed the business into a chain of video stores and later moved to Salmon Arm, where he branched out into commercial development.”
Ayles sold Video Express to Ken Bonham in 2001 and The Roxy to Carl Rankin.
Eley said his friend was a engaging and sports-minded individual. He was found lying in his driveway dressed to go dirt biking. He was just 53.
Video Express Manager Joe Martini was shaken by the news of his death.
“Roger was a wonderful man and a great manager,” he said. “I was devastated when I heard.”
Martini worked for Ayles when he started Video Express and was genuinely fond of him.
Eley said Roger Ayles was well known and well liked in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm and will be sadly missed by his many friends. His service will be held in the Sal-Mar Classic Theatre in downtown Salmon Arm on Monday, May 24 at 2 pm.
Roger Ayles is survived by his wife, Debbie, and two children, Cindy and Jason.
A Facebook page has been posted online in his memory. You can find it here.