Silver Screen makes its move

Silver Screen Video now occupies its new spot in the Village Shopping Center — formerly the location of Radio Shack.

Jeff Clark

Bainbridge Island’s independent video rental store has made its move.

Silver Screen Video now occupies its new spot in the Village Shopping Center — formerly the location of Radio Shack.

“The business is shrinking, but we have a place on the island,” said Jerry Clark, owner of Silver Screen Video.

“We’ve been part of the community a long time; we live here and we want to make it last for as long as we can,” he added.

The new space will help ease costs for the independent island business. It will also be just under half the size of the store’s former home on Hildebrand Lane, but Clark said that the services offered won’t change.

“We didn’t need 3,500 square feet of space; that just doesn’t happen in this business anymore,” Clark said.

“Those places are all gone. Hollywood, Blockbuster all the big people have closed all those stores. We’re trying to reduce costs while keeping all our inventory.”

Silver Screen’s inventory is an aspect of the business worth boasting. From hard-to-find classics to BBC series, it makes a point of having a wide selection.

And customers know it, according to Clark.

“We have a great base of customers,” Clark said. “We probably have one of the five best collections of movies in the state of Washington, that’s my estimate.”

While the rental store is up and running in its new home, its location on Hildebrand Lane will selectively keep its doors open for a sale on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The store is selling between 3,000 to 4,000 of its movies. Silver Screen will advertise to its customers to let them know when the sales will occur.

The sale won’t cut into the inventory of the store, rather, it will merely reduce it’s number of extra copies of movies.

“The sale items are basically excess inventory,” Clark said. “They are going to be left at the old store for the moment and we will run weekend sales for them.”

Silver Screen Video has served Bainbridge Island for more than two decades.

Clark purchased the business in 1988 after it was operating for only a handful of years. Before moving to their Hildebrand Lane location in 1997, the shop was located at the Winslow Green, where Bainbridge Bakers currently seats its customers.

“We’ve been doing it for 24 years,” Clark said. “It’s a family business.”

But recently, the new frontier of online media has cut into profits for video rental stores such as Silver Screen. The island store has taken around a 50-percent hit in sales since 2006. But despite mega chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video caving under the pressure of new media, Silver Screen continues on.

In addition to new releases and popular films, Silver Screen specifically carry titles that are difficult to find or cannot be readily available through their online counterparts.

“If we can decrease cost a bit and continue to get our movies in, we can stay in business,” Clark said.

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