After almost 34 years in business, @ThomasVideo pushes Stop button

Hello Friends,

It is with great sadness we announce that after almost 34 years in beautiful Downtown Guelph, Thomas Video will be closing it’s doors January 21, 2017.

We opened in March of 1983 on MacDonnell St. with 250 video disc movies and 20 players to rent.

We didn’t have membership fees, which was a first for Guelph. We were open on Sundays and stayed open till 9pm every evening. Very different model for business at that time which was normally 9-5 and closed Sundays.

In the late eighties we introduced compact disc rentals. Long before Napster, iTunes and Radio Paradise, customers had access to over 15,000 CDs.

In 1995 we moved to Wyndham St where we welcomed artists in our gallery, sold the famous Blackbird Baked Goods and taught night classes on film.

In 2000, we moved to our present location on Baker St. where we continued our focus on foreign, classics, documentaries, local film makers and great Hollywood movies.

Thomas Video’s final day of business operation will be January 21, 2017.

We welcome you to come visit us over the next couple of months and share your memories of renting movies from a store.

We would like to sincerely thank all our friends and customers. It’s been our honour to serve you.  You’ve helped us to bring in the best in world cinema. Most of our collection was driven by customer requests. We brought in the movies you wanted to see.

It has been our privilege to be part of your community. We’re going to miss you.

Cheers and thanks for all the love.

The Thomas Staff,
+ the 100’s of former staff.

Thomas Video by the numbers:

Year in business: 33
Movies: At peak 28,000  (Netflix offers roughly 3,600 titles)
Memberships: Over 35,000 (Netflix has more than 5.2 million)
Locations: 4
Evictions: 2  (2000 not a good year for Thomas:)
Media formats: 15
Social media platforms: 4  (What was that in 1983!?)
Age of owner in 1983: 18

PS Yes we will still be a partner with the #HappyMaking Street Pianos every September.

PSS Call the shop at 519-822-1451 or ian 519-242-5728 for more information.


11 responses to “After almost 34 years in business, @ThomasVideo pushes Stop button

  1. Sorry to hear that……
    I started my B.Sc. in Guelph in 1982.  You were there.  Did two more degrees and came back to work at the university. You were still there, a constant.
    Times change; I live and work outside Guelph now, but still subscribe to your newsletter. But it must be very hard for you keeping up and competing with so many new and newer technologies.
    Thank you for the many happy memories.  Good luck to you all in the future!! 

  2. I came from a broken home and had nowhere to go in Guelph for a while. Thomas Video, the punk scene, some good friends, and some good record stores back then kept me going and gave me a reason to live and to strive for more. Ian’s film suggestions had a profound impact on my life. Congratulations on leaving such a legacy in Guelph. Thomas Video gets an A+++ in my book.

  3. Very, very sad to see this. I lived in Guelph from 1992 – 1996, and loved Thomas Video. It was a place to find all manner of off-beat, hard-to-find and independent movies. I loved visiting the place and browsing the shelves, checking what intriguing new non-Hollywood releases had arrived. I took some film classes there and loved chatting with staff (who actually knew something about cinema, unlike employees at chain video stores). You will be missed!
    -Nate Hendley, Toronto, ON

  4. Thank you for everything <3<3<3

  5. Aww…man that’s sad news! I remember going in there a lot as a teenager in the early 90’s (MacDonnell St) just to hang out and kill time. Lol.😉 And it was always nice to hang out with Phoenix for a while. You guys will be missed.

  6. Hi Thomas Video! I no longer live in Guelph but am very sad to hear you are closing in January! You hold a special place in my heart and in my relationship with my husband. We rented Harold and Maude from you on our second date from a recommendation of one of your staff. The fact that we bonded over the oddity of this film helped begin our wonderful relationship, and we continued to rent from you often while we lived in Guelph. We still miss you all the way from Ottawa!!!

  7. Guelph Mercury Film Writer

    As film critic for the now-defunct Guelph Mercury I rented many videos/DVD’s at Thomas over the years to review and as research for my reviews of current cinema releases. The diverse selection in the store illustrated a love and intelligence about film which was deeply pleasing. In Thomas, one was among friends. Today it is increasingly difficult to find a good movie…anywhere…and the loss of this downtown landmark is a loss to movie lovers in Guelph. Thanks for being there and for hanging in there as long as you did in this world of instant, largely (un)gratifying internet streamed film consumerism. Downtown Guelph is in trouble, soon all there will be is restaurants and hair dressers. Another empty storefront awaits. All the best in future ventures.

  8. Hey Ian – so sad. Your excellent curation and determination kept me at Thomas Video for years – such a great cultural hub! I feel guilty having succumbed to the ease of piracy many years ago, but was always amazed at your ability to weather the storms.

  9. Gonna miss you

  10. Thank you Ian and Thomas Video for your amazing collection of films, the great suggestions of movies to view, and your patience while we tried to remember a film title. Netflix can’t compare with the warmth, selection, and curatorial knowledge you have provided for all these years, and downtown Guelph will be much poorer for your absence. All the best to and yours for the future

  11. Pingback: The end of an era for Thomas Video (1983-2017) – The Ontarion

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