Kent Bendall has taken over ownership of Pic A Flic

Kent Bendall has taken over ownership of Pic A Flic

Video rental store on Cook Street a labour of love

Walking into Pic A Flic Video store in the Cook Street Village, it's easily confused with a library.

Walking into Pic A Flic Video store in the Cook Street Village, it’s easily confused with a library.

The old wooden shelves that line the store walls and run throughout the store are stacked inches upon inches with DVDs. They’re packed so methodically and neatly that on first glance, they look more like books than movies.

But that is what owner Kent Bendall believes the store has become — a library of sorts for cinema.

Being one of the last movie rental stores left in Victoria, Pic A Flic is home to more than 30,000 movie titles, TV shows and even a few VHSs from the newest releases to films dating as far back as the 1920s.

Bendall, who worked at the store full-time for the past 15 years, recently went from long-time employee to owner after he purchased the business from the previous owners on Jan. 1.

“It is crazy. I’m the first to admit I’m certifiable,” Bendall laughed, adding the former owners did not want the store to close nor did they want to just sell the business to anyone.

“It’s very much a neighbourhood store. I’ve seen kids grow up and come in with their parents and now they’re coming in with their own kids. You definitely feel the community vibe here.”

The store has been a fixture in the community since it first opened in 1983 (the original store opened across the street and shortly after moved to its current location).

Over the years with the shift to a more digital way of consuming movies, such as Netflix and Shaw on Demand, the store has seen a decrease in the number of people coming in to rent the latest blockbuster movies.

However, Bendall said they still have regular customers, who come in on a weekly basis, and are looking for a more human connection.

“Just the fact that you come in here and talk to people. There are still people that like that face-to-face interaction. You can come in a say ‘I like this movie, what else would I like’?” said Bendall, noting they have customers from as far away as Galiano and Pender islands, Sooke and Mill Bay who come down weekly.

“There’s so much nowadays where people are on their phone or on the computer, everything is push a button and download. People like going out for a walk.”

Rosa Venditti has been renting movies at the store since 1992.

“The staff are so nice. It’s a real community feeling, that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s very important. We’re just too focused on saving a dollar.”

Long-time customer and Cook Street Village resident Yogi Garcia said what’s unique about the store is it offers a number of older films that are difficult to find elsewhere.

“I’m just glad that (Kent) purchased the place. It’s a labour of love, there are a lot of regular people who come here. It’s part of the neighbourhood,” Garcia said. “Look at all this stuff. There’s stuff here that you can’t find anywhere else or on Netflix.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read