The Movie Bank, an automated movie rental store, opens in Rock Plaza, off Old Olympic Highway, in early 2011. Sequim Gazette photo by Ashley Miller
by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
Renting movies in Sequim is about to get a whole lot easier.
The Movie Bank, an automated movie rental kiosk similar to Redbox, was set to open after the first of the year in Rock Plaza.
Located next to Reef Tanning, the Movie Bank will offer thousands of DVD movies at the touch a button.
“It’s like shrinking Hollywood Video down to a 500-square-foot facility and reducing the price to just 99 cents,” said owner Joe McLaughlin. “It’s cheap entertainment at a price you can’t beat.”
The rental fee is just 99 cents per day. Late fees are nonexistent. If the movie isn’t returned, the company simply charges the account holder’s credit card or membership card 99 cents per day.
New releases are added into the system once a week. Movies can be reserved online and then picked up and returned on site.
A potential membership program will allow regular customers to rent an unlimited number of movies throughout a certain time period for a flat rate, much like Netflix.
With four indoor browsing stations, there’s no waiting in the car or outside in the elements to rent a movie. If all of the renting stations are occupied, there are chairs to sit in and relax. Flat-screen televisions will line the walls, playing clips from movies and trailers.
Finished watching a rental movie early?
“Give the movie to a friend after you watch it,” McLaughlin encouraged. “As long as it’s returned in time, it still only costs the original 99 cents.”
To promote the new store, McLaughlin will team up with Westside Pizza to offer “dinner and a movie” specials.
“We have to support this community,” he said. “We don’t know who Netflix or Redbox is but you know me and if I do well, I can guarantee I’ll be going to the local stores and market to buy the things I need.”
“It’s like I’ve always preached,” he continued, “buy it in Sequim! We need to build this community stronger and it all starts with small businesses.”
McLaughlin’s dreams for the Movie Bank span even farther than Sequim.
“I feel that this could go all across the peninsula,” he said enthusiastically. “It’s the up and coming thing, you’ll see.”
During the first few weeks, an employee will be on staff to assist customers and answer questions.
“It’s an easy system to learn,” McLaughlin assured.
“If I can figure it out, anyone can,” he joked.
Security cameras will monitor the facility to ensure customer safety.
Rock Plaza shopping center has spaces from 500 square feet up to 6,000. McLaughlin built the project with his father, Joe McLaughlin Sr., in 2008. Other businesses in the complex include The Red Wok Buffet, Reef Tanning, Anytime Fitness, The Cracked Bean Coffee Co., Westside Pizza, Jolie Salon and Kelbi’s World.
Renting movies with ease
The Movie Bank, 10167 Old Olympic Highway, Suite 106, is set to open in early 2011. An affiliate of MovieBankUSA, the automated movie rental store offers thousands of DVD rentals — from classics like “Gone with the Wind” to new releases like “Inception” — for just 99 cents a day. Business hours will start at 9 a.m.-10:30 or 11 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m.-midnight on weekends but eventually will increase to 24/7.