By David F. Rooney
Are you one of the many, many Revelstokians who still bemoan the demise of Video Express? Are you one of those dissatisfied with Netflix’s stale selection of movies and TV shows or who dislikes downloading movies from online sites?
If your answer to those questions is an unequivocal ‘Yes,’ then you’ll be very happy to learn that there is once again a place in town where you can physically rent — or buy — Blu-Ray discs and DVDs.
Columbia River DVDs is an automated enterprise conceived by Dave Kaegi and is located just to the right of the main doors at Coopers. The tall red kiosk holds up to 250 individual disks.
“Since we will be holding duplicates of popular new-release movies, this will equate to about 100 different titles,” Kaegi said Friday, January 31. “Each week we will be adding five to 10 new-release movies that will have just been released on disk.”
He said users could either rent or purchase the movie from the kiosk. The daily rental price for DVDs is $1.99 and for Blu-Rays is $2.49.
“Payment is by credit card only,” he said. “Customers will have their credit card pre-authorized for $30 for each rental. When the movie is returned into the kiosk (by simply inserting the disk into slot), their card will only be charged for the number of days they rented the movie for. If the movie is kept out for 10 days, the transaction will be considered a sale and the customer’s credit card will automatically be charged $30 — the amount of the pre-authorization — and they can keep the movie.”
Kaegi said the kiosk would contain not only new releases from the major studios but independently produced films note from leading film festivals such as TIFF, Sundance and Cannes,
“An additional bonus of the system is the ability for individuals who have signed up to our website at no cost, to reserve movies on line,” he said. “Members will be able to reserve a movie online. Once reserved, all they need to do is show up at the kiosk and enter the code they will have been issued to retrieve their movie.”
The kiosk, which was installed at Coopers on Thursday, is already attracting attention.
“This is great,” said Kirsten Gonzales, as she and her husband Gerritt examined the kiosk on Friday. “We haven’t seen a new-release video since the video store closed down.”
Kaegi said that if this new business venture proves successful he might install a couple more in town, perhaps at Southside and, across the Trans-Canada at the Chevron station’s convenience store.