“When you find something that you’re unexpectedly good at, it’s a joy,” says Syd Valentine, whose outgoing personality and passion for movies has been drawing movie lovers to her video store in Wilson Creek for years. But Sid’s Vids is now closing.
Valentine, who moved to the Sunshine Coast 20 years ago to raise her son, started working two days a week at a video store and was such a natural that the owners offered to sell her the business. She decided to go for it.
“I turned 50 and I bought a business in the year of the crash , and everyone said it was doomed because it’s a video store. So it was madness on all levels. Except it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done.”
In the era of Netflix and downloading, some people scoff at video stores, thinking they are next to extinct. But Sid’s Vids was built on its friendly personal service, expert knowledge, and vast selection. Valentine estimates that she has amassed one of the largest collections in North America, with 25,000 to 30,000 titles.
“There’s a lot of stuff in here that’s out of print. It’s a sad thing because people’s access to film is being narrowed,” said Valentine. Netflix, on demand and downloading are convenient, but access is becoming more difficult and the number of titles available is decreasing.
“There are about 11-hundred stores across Canada. So we’re thinner on the ground, but where a store has a good location and people recognize how much we have access to, there’s still money to be made in it.”
Valentine is being forced to close because of the cancer diagnosis she received six months ago.
“I haven’t had a vacation since before my son was born. I just need to get healthy. So the store is liquidating—not because it’s a video store and we’re doomed, but because this is going to support me.”
All the DVDs and Blurays go on sale Saturday, August 5, and the store will close August 31. Each week prices will be lowered, but people who want particular titles should get there early.
Syd’s friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help Valentine with living and medical expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/kxeqdz-syd-valentines-medical-fund
“I wanted to be able to run this store until video starts to come back like vinyl.”