By editorial board • 

Mac video rental business has been model for local companies

There’s plenty to boast about when describing McMinnville to outsiders: The abundance of agriculture-rich landscape surrounding the city sets the stage for world-class wine and dining. Our public schools often earn high grades, and the city is blessed with partnerships between public and private higher education.

Included on the list is the city’s proud collection of small businesses. A sense of pride accompanies driving down Baker Street, pointing out a big green house adjacent to Linfield College to a visitor and telling them, “That’s our local video rental store.” Often the statement draws a bewildered reaction, “You have a video rental store?!”

Years after the final Blockbuster Movies closed, Movietime Video continued to supply thousands of DVDs to locals. It’s with some sorrow and some celebration that we accept the announcement of its soon-to-be closure. 

Movietime beat the odds for years as mobile rental kiosks and streaming movie services obliterated the rental store industry. It did so by instilling itself as a visible piece of the community, promoting local film festivals and engaging with organizations. It wasn’t just charity that created success. The store offered a great experience for families and students to browse new releases, along with a library of titles impossible to find on said streaming services. It exemplified what we admire about our small business community.

Technology and changes in consumer behavior have taken their toll on many local operations. It’s a testament to the spirit of its residents — and the prowess of its tourism industry — that McMinnville has an independent bookstore, a record shop, a toy store, several fashion boutiques and so on — not to mention an independent, family-owned and operated newspaper. And there still remains a video rental store in the Reel Hollywood Video.

These are all aspects of our community that are comforting to know are operating. But let Movietime’s closure be a lesson that admiration is not enough to keep the doors open for local businesses. Use it or lose it.

The draw of online shopping won’t subside anytime soon. But we must remember that the long-term benefits of shopping local outweigh the short term gain of a dollar or two. Local businesses must also anticipate change, stay in front of the modern economic challenges, and give local consumers every reason they can to shop close to home. 

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