r SPANISH FORK – What some might say is a bad location works out well for Movie Night Video, says its owner, entrepreneur Tyler Okeson.
He looked for a month before settling on the 230 N. Main Street location, Okeson told Serve Daily.
“This is a night business – we don’t start getting busy until 4 or 5 p.m. – so parking isn’t an issue,” Okeson said. “People will go out to eat and then stop in to pick up a movie.”
Despite a downturn nationally in the video store business, Okeson saw the potential. He’s convinced he was right – he signed a three-year lease and has hired two part-time employees since the store opened last October.
Facebook reviewers echo his thinking.
“I’m so glad we have a place to rent movies again,” posted Sage Rosell on Jan. 21. “They have a wide selection and the new releases come quickly. The owner is great. They even sell candy and rent video games. Reminds me of the good old days.”
Eric Hurst had this to say on March 24: “I like having a place to get new releases when they are actually new, not a month or two down the road. It’s also where I go for digital codes. You’re not going to find a more welcoming place.”
Okeson started with his personal collection of about 1,000 movies, bought many more from a video store going out of business in St. George, and continues to buy more: 18 new titles in August. Today he has about 200 new releases that date back to the last eight months, 200 video games, and about 6,000 older titles.
He has plans to level out at about 10,000 titles. They’re all arranged alphabetically in sections, with Westerns in the Action section, and War movies in the Action or Drama section.
With his business skills honed during a four-year stint owning an independent Verizon store, Okeson weighed the competition to a video store: Redbox and Netflix. His prices are comparable: $1.99/new releases for one night; $1.49 for older releases. If a new release is returned before Movie Night Video opens the next day, the customer receives a 50 cent credit.
In addition, he gets every new release he wants the day it becomes available to the public. This is 28-30 days before Redbox has it, and Netflix may never have it.
The lure of a fresh rental and the candy available at reasonable (rather than theater) prices, make for a welcome package, Facebook reviewers said.
“I love Movie Night,” Brandon Dase wrote on April 15. “Tyler is the best guy and I’m so happy and grateful that he opened a great place to get movies, games, board games and treats! Great selection!”
Dase also made an economic case for frequenting Movie Night Video: “Shop local,” he wrote. “Support local business owners! It’s the best.”
Movie Night Video has movies on DVD and Blu-Ray and a variety of game options: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and Nintendo Switch games. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and closed Sunday.