After 25 years at their Market St location Rain City Video (719 NW Market St) will be packing up shop early next year. However, local movie enthusiasts should not despair as Rain City’s Sunset Hill location (6412 32nd Ave) will remain open and is currently being revamped.
After much consideration, owner Mark Vrieling decided to merge the two stores into the Sunset Hill location. “It is no secret that traffic at video rental stores have declined over the last few years. Having two locations in Ballard no longer makes financial sense so we are merging the two stores into a single location,” says Rain City Video Manager Chelsea Robinson.
(Rain City Video on Market St.)
After serving the Ballard community for 25 years Rain City Video has become a staple for local movie buffs. The store has a unique collection that has been developed since the store opened and offers personal, authentic and helpful service to locals wanting to choose that unique and perfect movie. The store features rare titles and boasts a unique collection that is tailored to Ballard.
“The Ballard community really “Got It” and dove into our collection with both feet watching all the eclectic stuff we brought in over the years. If you want to know the personality of Ballard, look at our shelves,” wrote Vrieling in a letter to the community.
When the doors close for the final time the team says that they will deeply miss the neighborhood. “I’m going to miss our regulars the most. I’ve gotten to know people’s tastes in a way where they come in and I can point them right to something I know they’ll love,” says Robinson. During her time at Rain City Video Robinson has had the chance to see families grow up and see progressions of teenage customers love for film transform into study at film school. “I love the great relationships I’ve formed with people seeking a personalized cinematic experience,” says Robinson.
The Market St location will be open through January selling titles and possibly longer if stock remains and items are selling well. According to Robinson, Rain City Video probably has the best selection of DVDs and Blu-ray discs in Washington. Many discs that they have in stock are out of print and hard to find elsewhere and pricing is already well below wholesale. As the selection dwindles down the team will be discounting prices further.
Robinson reports that the easiest thing for Rain City to do would be to sell the remainder of the collection to used disc brokers, however, they wanted to give their customers first shot. “How long we do this will depend on how long people keep coming in and buying discs,” says Robinson.
In terms of the Sunset Hill location, Robinson reports that it is over twice the size of the Market St store and can hold much more inventory. “We have had a great inventory at both stores for a long time but the inventory was not all the same. By merging the two stores, we have one of the best rental inventories in the country,” says Robinson.
A portion of the Sunset Hill location will now also be dedicated to other forms of artwork. The store will be carrying collections of entertainment related art work including rare still movie cameras, framed movie posters and other one of kind entertainment related collectables. The first artist to be featured will be Pearl Jam’s official photographer, local Lance Mercer. “We are working on turning the store into a real destination location for art lovers,” says Robinson.
As the Market St chapter comes to a close for Rain City Video they want to thank the loyal customers in Ballard for supporting the store over the years. “I love film so much, it means a lot to me to have been able to curate some of this collection and to share it with the people of Ballard,” says Robinson.
Locals can keep up with the progress of the Sunset Hill location on the Rain City Video Facebook page.