Truro’s last full-fledged movie rental shop fades to black

Harry Sullivan
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Truro Home Video closing its doors

TRURO  - It was only a matter of time.

After three decades of operation, Truro Home Video owner James Bryson has decided to shut down his store because of a decline in steady business.


Truro’s last full-fledged DVD/video rental store has finally succumbed to the flood of ever-increasing in-home technological competition now available in the marketplace.

After 30 years of operation, Truro Home Video (THV) conducted its last rentals on Tuesday and except for the pending clear-out sales of its inventory, the shop has now closed its doors.

”It’s a shame that there won’t be a major video store anymore,” owner James Bryson said. “It is very emotional.

“It’s very much a part of your character that this has been your venture for over 30 years and you’ve been a part of the community and a part of your identify in the community,” he said. “On the other hand, we’ve known that this has been coming for a number of years. And it’s been a difficult time in recent years,” he said, of the adjustments required to meet changing demands.

THV opened in Truro in July 1984 with 800 sq. ft. of space and 800 movies to choose from. Since then, the store has expanded three times to become a “movie superstore” offering 17,000 movies and games and a floor space of 5,600 sq. ft.

“It’s a great shame because really we still have a lot of business,” Bryson said. “We still have a lot of people that rely on DVDs as their entertainment. We have a lot of disadvantaged or handicapped people that this is their source for entertainment.”

The problem, however, with so many options for people now to choose from - whether through satellite or cable channels to downloadable movies and services such as Netflix -  that the steady flow of business required to make ends meet, simply no longer exists.

“What’s happened is, it’s become volatile. Instead of being a steady business it’s a business that’s much more up and down. So the base group of users are not there,” Bryson said. “Their viewing is now fractured into multiple zones.”

Set overhead and staffing costs don’t fluctuate, however, and Bryson said the time had come to face reality.

“At some point your overhead costs and your sales fall out of balance,” he said. “ It’s just time. At some point you find you just have to call it what it is and let go.”

Instead of seeing the move as a negative situation, however, Bryson said he will retain the happy memories of watching his customers go from renting children’s movies to becoming adults and bringing in their own children. And he is looking forward to his next business venture, whatever that may be.

“So it is an emotional time but I don’t think dwelling on that and being sad is advantageous,” he said.

“Any enforced change always seems to bring opportunity as well. So I look forward to the change.”

The store will be closed Wednesday and Thursday for inventory and then will be open for the next several weekends, from Fridays to Sundays, with clearance sales.

“If you have a favourite in mind, don’t wait hoping it will be cheaper later,” he said. “Chances are, if you love it, someone else does too.”

Twitter: @tdn

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Recent comments

  • Debby Thomas
    May 23, 2014 - 23:14

    Good luck James and staff on future ventures! So many weekend nights searching for the perfect movie for sleepovers and family nights with my girls and their friends through the years, great memories, will be missed.

  • Trevor Segano
    May 23, 2014 - 07:10

    What a darn shame. Truro Home Video was quite honestly the best store in Truro and a staple in the downtown. Hopefully Truro Home Video decides not to close!

  • Cindy Carruthers
    May 22, 2014 - 22:35

    I was so sad hearing this news today! My family and I love this store! James is so familiar to everyone who enjoys movies! We have so many memories of this business and will remember. Good luck to James and his staff!

  • Ann Warman
    May 22, 2014 - 18:24

    Sorry to hear Truro Home Video is closing. There are many people who don't necessarily like watching movies online or dealing with pay per view. Truro Home Video was the one place you could find your favorite oldies and cult flicks. Thank you Jim for providing your customers with good service all these years. I wish you the best in any new venture you decide to embark on in the future.

  • Duane Hemphill
    May 22, 2014 - 09:51

    I was there on opening day, membership number #2. Haven't lived in Truro for years but it was the best place to rent videos. Sad to see it close.

  • Sammy Smith
    May 22, 2014 - 07:13

    Please don't close! Truro Home Video is the best store in Truro! Mr. Bryson you can change your mind and keep the store opened!!

  • Bob Orton
    May 22, 2014 - 07:09

    I am so disaponted in learning that Truro Home Video is closing. Why doesn't the town give Truro Home Video some money so they can stay open?

  • anna
    May 21, 2014 - 22:30

    sad see closing I being going there my kids are little like over 24 years back then was great $ on movies was like 7 movies for 7 days &7$ great deal

  • Marc A
    May 21, 2014 - 22:08

    Truly sad. i for sure will be there on Friday. i remember renting movies like Indiana Jones,Shawshank Redemption and Lethal Weapon years and years ago, movies like those have become my favourites. One of my favourite stores of all time and probably the nicest staff you will ever meet.