Leo Bartel is once again going to close Kelowna’s last remaining video store, Leo’s Video. All 24,000+ films will be up for sale. (Caitlin Clow - Black Press Media)

Kelowna’s last video rental store, Leo’s Video, to close in face of COVID-19

By the end of the month, Leo’s Video will close once again

Leo Bartel kept the film rolling for as long as he could.

A forced sale; a triumphant return — it could be the story of one of the over 24,000 films he rented out at his shop, Leo’s Video.

But now, in an M. Night Shyamalan-style twist brought on by a worldwide pandemic, Bartel is giving his final farewell. By the end of the month, Leo’s will close once again.

Bartel said it would be inappropriate to remain open as COVID-19 continues to progress and the closure, which he believes will be lengthy and cause irreparable damage to the business, has forced him to begin selling off stock.

“For collectors, this will be a final opportunity to find those films you have been looking for and for the casual movie fan a chance to stockpile a selection for viewing during these extended periods at home,” said Bartel.

Bartel has given his employees the option to self-isolate and three, including Bartel, have chosen to do so. Due to having a newborn at home, Bartel feels it’s prudent to minimize risks to his family, so his last day behind the counter at Leo’s is March 19.

For now, the store will remain open on the weekends as long as the staff members feel comfortable working.

“I’ve told my staff they have absolutely no obligation to work under these circumstances,” he said. “It’s completely up to them.”

If it weren’t for the inability to remain at full operating hours, Bartel said the store would likely be doing better than ever.

As self-isolation became more prevalent, the number of films Leo’s was renting out was skyrocketing.

But concern for his staff, his family and his patrons reigned supreme.

“We are deeply sorry that this is very likely the end of Leo’s Videos as a physical shop and hope to see you all online in the future,” he said. “We have so many great memories serving the community of Kelowna and we wish you all the best.”

All is not lost, however, as Bartel anticipates some 20,000 films remaining after the closing sale. He plans on opening an online venture where people can buy whatever remains.

Through the sale, Bartel asks that customers who are sick or experiencing any symptoms stay home. Customers will be asked to wash their hands upon entering Leo’s Video.

READ MORE: City of Kelowna urges use of online services during COVID-19 restrictions

READ MORE: Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market decides to postpone amid COVID-19 concerns


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Crews repair damaged lakefront walkway in Summerland

Flooding in 2017 and 2018 took toll on popular walking path

COVID-19: Keremeos legion reopening with reduced hours

Legion’s treasurer encourages locals to continue their longstanding support during the pandemic

COVID-19 ‘not a death sentence’ says Penticton woman after seeing senior mother recover

Cancer, blindness, a fractured hip, dementia, and COVID-19 not enough to bring Betty Jukes down

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Syilx Nation cannabis store holds grand opening in Vernon

Tupa’s Joint offers Indigenous cannabis products along with traditional First Nations medicines

Most Read