March 2nd, 2016
To Our Valued Customers –
It is with great sadness that we are announcing the end of an era – Movietime Video will begin the process of selling its inventory starting in April.
Information on accounts with pre-paid rentals is further down.
This amazing business was conceived in 1983 by Marc Crump, Mike Smith and Virgil Smith. In October 1983 with a starting investment of $1,500, the three unlikely businessmen made a purchase of 47 used beta tapes and 4 VCRs. The rental enterprise grew from a small shop in Cloverdale into 5 major rental outlets throughout Oregon.
Among other accomplishments, Movietime Video pioneered the video game rental business in early 1986. Known for their over-the-top promotions, Movietime was the Oregon Coast leader prior to the mega-superstores that dominated the new millennium. While the superstores were the ultimate demise of the corner mom-and-pop video store, Movietime Video continued to compete where others had failed.
In 1997 with the help of Tom Smith, Lorin Smith, Ronald Smith, Brian Smith and numerous other key people, the company posted annual sales of over $1 million. Video stores were in their heyday and the only place you could get a movie outside of the theater or eventually on TV.
On January 1, 2001, we purchased the McMinnville store (all the other locations were individually sold off to others and eventually closed over time). Back then, we saw the direction technology was heading and figured if we got 10 years out of the business, we would be thrilled. With a strong passion for movies, we gave it our heart and soul, and this year began our 16th year which proved we could still compete in an ever-changing industry.
Netflix, Redbox, Apple iTunes, and general streaming of movies all but killed the video giants (Blockbuster closed in 2011) yet Movietime continued to plug along. The one thing that comes to mind according to original owner Mike Smith is the memories and impact the Movietime stores had on its family of customers for nearly 30 years now. He’s proud to have worked with many of you and to say Movietime is a part of Oregon history forever.
Like Mike, we, too, are proud of having worked with you and being a part of this community. Our total employee count in all these years reached 98. Only a handful didn’t work out while the majority stayed on. We continue to be a part of many of their lives as we have watched them move on to other jobs including teachers, lawyers, bankers, and more. We have always attributed a large portion of our success to our staff. Their tireless work and dedication and outstanding customer service made Movietime what it is.
ACCOUNTS WITH PRE-PAID RENTALS (or “Credits”)
We know some of you have pre-paid rentals on your account, maybe even a deposit balance. We are not going to do what many businesses do and just close the door and leave you stranded.
Between now and April 2nd, you should plan on using up those pre-paid rentals as much as possible. Effective immediately, no more packages will be sold, and this gives more than a month for those of you who do have pre-paid rentals to get them used up.
Then, beginning April 5th, we will begin selling off all inventory in the store which we believe will take some time. We cannot guarantee any pre-paid rentals unused at that time will even be allowed in-store credit, but we will see what we can do. We strongly encourage you to use these now.
New movies will continue to come in during the month of March so you can continue to use those pre-paid rentals plus we still have thousands of catalog titles to choose from.
We cannot thank you enough for all the support that was given to us throughout all these years. Owning this business opened up so many avenues to us and allowed us to get involved in this wonderful community. We started two film festivals as a result of Movietime, and the McMinnville Short Film Festival continues to grow into a competitive festival! Our focus will now be on that event as well as the other businesses that we were running in the background while making Movietime the best it could be.
Dan and Nancy Morrow, Owners