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Local Employer Celebrates 25 Years In Guelph

Web posted on August 10, 2017

GUELPH, ON Cinema 1 is proud to announce its 25th year in the movie retail business. With over 10,000 titles available at each of its seven locations across Southern Ontario, the small local chain continues to defy the digital streaming trend.

To celebrate this milestone, Cinema 1 will be holding an anniversary sale this month, focusing on films released in 1992 as well as some of the most iconic films of the last 25 years.

"It's nice to look back at all the titles that we've sold in the last 25 years," says owner Alan McCrae, "Hopefully our customers can get a sense of nostalgia and re-watch some of their old favourites."

McCrae credits Cinema 1's selection, prices, and service for its success as traffic and sales continue to increase every year.

"We are a specialty store, so we are able to help customers find a wide range of titles. We have smaller stores staffed with very knowledgeable movie lovers who can help people find what they're looking for," McCrae explains.

Back in 1992, when the home entertainment market was mostly saturated with video rental stores, McCrae and Brent Freeman, two local radio station employees, saw an opportunity to tap into the sell-through market.

Cinema 1's flagship location opened in Stone Road Mall over the August '92 long weekend, carrying approximately 3000 titles for sale on VHS as well as a small LaserDisc section. The very first film sold was a copy of Hook, just one minute after opening.

"On the first day, I thought that we made the perfect decision, but the next day, we only sold one movie," McCrae reflects. "Sales weren't very good for a whole year, actually, so we had to make the decision to either close or reinvest more money and move within the mall."

Since then, Cinema 1 has opened locations in London, Burlington, Windsor, Cambridge, Hamilton, and Barrie, and has carried a variety of formats over the years most notably VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UltraHD Blu-ray.

Over two decades later, with digital streaming services on the rise, Cinema 1 continues to be an asset for movie lovers across all demographics.

"For true movie lovers, ownership is still important," says McCrae. "It's not like a streaming service where you're watching something and it disappears. That copy is yours and you can watch it whenever you want."

McCrae also notes that picture and sound quality are always going to be a major factor, along with the additional bonus features that are often only available on physical release.

In addition to the 25th anniversary sale, Cinema 1 will be launching a brand new web store in August to provide customers with more information and access to the store's extensive directory.