Emerald Video – Isla Vista’s only movie rental store – will be closing up shop this December.
With decreased demand for video rentals and fewer customers due to construction connected with the I.V. Master Plan, Emerald Video has come under difficult times and decided to shut down, owner and manager Tom Hurd said. The store, located at 6547 B Pardall Rd., has served I.V. residents for 19 years.
Hurd said it would be extremely difficult to keep the store open and successful for any longer due to the changing nature of the movie rental business.
“It’s just a different time,” Hurd said. “People have too many other options – Netflix, On-Demand, TiVo. There isn’t a real need for video stores anymore.”
Hurd also said the IVMP has made a huge dent in business for many establishments in the area. He noted that the renovation of Pardall Road has made it difficult to continue attracting customers while the street is under construction.
During its 19 years of business, Emerald Video has served the local community by chiefly employing and renting to students.
SBCC student Sean McCaskill, who has worked at Emerald Video for a year, said he has witnessed the store’s situation move from bad to worse.
“We’ve tried to do a lot to save the store,” McCaskill said. “The situation is just really terrible right now.”
While services like Netflix and TiVo have caused the video store’s clientele to decrease, Emerald Video is still frequented by many who say they will miss its presence.
Ryland Swartz, a third-year philosophy major, said that even though he no longer lives in Isla Vista, he prefers Emerald Video to the other video rental establishments in Santa Barbara due to its large selection.
“As far as the less mainstream movies go, they have a much better selection than most movie stores,” Swartz said. “I nearly had an orgasm when I saw the Criterion section.”
Hurd said he hopes to be able to sell the store’s wide-ranging collection as a whole. If it is not possible, though, he said he will hold a large sale sometime in the next few months.
According to Hurd, if he had time to be in the store everyday, Emerald Video might have lasted another year. However, he said it was simply time to move on.
“It has been an amazing experience,” Hurd said. “I guess it’s just time for change.”