August 5, 2020

By KENNETH BELLIVEAU

What started out as a collection among friends, has now blossomed into a store full of over 20,000 movies.

As soon as you walk into Far Out Flicks, located at 94 Queen St. S. in Kitchener, your eyes are instantly drawn to shelf upon shelf of movies that have never been heard of before. Broken down genre by genre, there is a good chance Far Out Flicks will have the movie you are looking for. Even if they don’t the friendly staff will be willing to help you track it down.

Far Out Flicks has been open since 2002 and owner Rolf Glemsor said there was a period of time where he thought the business might not make it.

“At that point we had been open four or five years, and things were going up, but not significantly.”

Glemsor said it was the closing of many other independent stores around the area that ultimately helped his business.

“Movietainment closed down, it used to be out on Pioneer Drive, and last year with Generation X closing and Blockbuster closing its doors, that definitely helped us.”

This fall Far Out Flicks will have been in business for 10 years. However, all is not rosy just yet and Glemsor said that the new age of film watching which includes Netflix and Rogers on Demand has hurt business slightly.

“It definitely has hurt us a little bit, probably because of the comfort of being able to just choose a movie from your couch.”

However, in comparison Netflix has 8,000 films to rent, whereas Far Out Flicks has 17,000 DVDs for rent on any given day, plus Glemsor has his collection of VHS tapes that are for sale. He tries to maintain a competitive price with both major online services. Rogers on Demand charges $7.99 for a 24-hour rental, and at Far Out Flicks, it costs $5. Glemsor also said that with Rogers on Demand, you don’t really get the service, one of the major reasons he believes people still come to the store rather than shop online.

“We talk to people and try and figure out what they like once they come in enough. We then begin to recommend films for them depending on their previous rentals, which is something you don’t get online.”

Glemsor believes that other cities would be able to sustain an independent movie store similar to his.

“There is definitely a niche not being fulfilled by Netflix or Rogers (that) those independent stores can fill. We offer DVDs that are off the map. On average it is more expensive to rent online, and Rogers wants you to walk away from the brick and mortar of the industry which at one time was an independent store.”