Business

SK video pioneer to close its doors

For 20 years, Cinema One has been a staple in the Port Orchard business scene.

The video rental store has survived location changes, the evolution from VHS tapes to DVD and even the remodel of the South Park Shopping Center.

But a combination of rising costs, new technology and a sense that the time is right has led owner Diane Launius to decide to shut down the business once and for all.

“The current trends and changes in technology have had a real impact on the business,” Launius said. “The close proximity of competition and other ways of getting movies these days, it’s just taken the piece of pie down to such a narrow piece that it seems like a good time to say goodbye.”

Flyers went out to customers on Monday detailing the store’s closure. Launius closed the store on Sunday and Monday to prepare for the liquidation which began Tuesday.

“I’ve probably been considering this for a good year,” Launius said. “I saw the handwriting was on the wall and I wanted to be in a good position to make this decision and not a decision where I’m forced. I don’t feel forced at this time but I suspect down the road it could be more of that.”

Of the many factors involved in the decision, Launius said the resent remodeling of the shopping center played the largest role.

“The most significant thing that has happened to directly impact our business was the year-long shopping center remodel,” Launius said. “Details like having no sign on your building for six months and (being) boarded up in front causes one’s business to look closed.”

The South Park Shopping Center underwent its remodel two years ago, causing problems for all the businesses in the area, including significant increases in rent, Launius said.

“That was very trying for everyone in South Park,” Launius said. “And it certainly took its toll here.”

Launius survived the introduction of large, chain-store competitors like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, but with the advent of Netflix, an Internet movie rental site that mails DVDs to customer’s homes, has also had an impact on her decision.

“That would be one of the other factors involved in our decision-making process at this particular time,” Launius said.

Launius noted that some of her customers admitted hey had changed their renting habits and were using NetFlix but would still come to the store and purchase DVDs.

The business, which Launius began in March 1984, will liquidate everything and plans to close completely by May 31. The closure also impacts the six employees working for Launius.

“A number of people are sad,” Launius said. “It’s been a big decision. I’ve made many friends and seen a lot of kids grow up. It’s been really, really fun. But it’s time to make a change.”

And everything is up for sale, including the movies, games, racks, cabinets — even the espresso machine.

Launius said her primary customers that have supported her throughout the store’s existence will have the first shot at picking up movies and supplies.

“We want to invite them in and see if they can pick up some favorites,” Launius said.

Launius said she will be retiring with the store.

“I have no desire to go into retail business ever again,” Launius laughed. “Twenty years is enough.”

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