Island Entertainment, your local movie store

Anne Evasick, standing in front of the popular Employee Picks section, bought Island Entertainment five years ago. — Photo by Katryn Yerdon

While entertainment comes in many forms, many find it in the form of movies.

The first commercial movie was made in the very late 1800s and the first U.S. movie theater was built in 1905. Since then, we have fallen in love with the escape films provide.

Oh, how things have changed since then. Now people predominantly watch their movies on large flat screen televisions at home via DVD players or video streaming. Gone seem to be the days when we ventured out to get a movie for our VCR (do you remember those?) or our DVD player. Thankfully the art of choosing a good movie has not been completely lost on the Vineyard, in spite of an unmanned Redbox in the Edgartown Stop & Shop’s entranceway, and the ease of the Internet.

Thanks to Anne Evasick, owner of Island Entertainment for the last five years — though she has worked there since its opening in 1988 — the art of choosing a great movie from a shelve is possible in Vineyard Haven. Island Entertainment is the Island’s only video rental store, and due the decreasing number of rental stores in this day and age — think Netflix, Infinity on Demand, and Redbox — we hope it will be around for a long time to come.

Ms. Evasick described why her video store is the best option for movie rentals: “Our entire staff knowledge of our large collection of movies [28,000 titles] and our willingness to be brutally honest when asked about a movie. We can save you two hours of misery and your rental fees, where with any other option you can be taking a big risk. Along with the depth of our movie collection, our movie knowledge is second to none. Our manger, Jamie Alley, has a forte with the classics from 1930 through the 50s while I cover the 70s through the 90s: I worked on Island at our movie theater form 1977 to 1991. We also have an ever-revolving section with staff recommendations, which is a highlight in the store.”

Included in their movie collections are such genres as comedy; new releases; western/war, which is broken into various wars such as WWI and WWII; musicals from jazz to hip hop; a large documentary section; television series from “Honeymooners” to “CSI;” animation; action/adventure; sci-fi/fantasy; foreign Language from French to Portuguese; and a very large children’s section.

When asked what is the most popular rental types, Ms. Evasick shared, “Obviously the new release section, but also our British TV section and our documentaries, along with “Barbie” and “Scooby Doo” for the children. We are unusually lucky that our Island community is really into various documentaries, so that we are able to carry a larger selection for people to choose from. Also popular is the fact that we carry all the movies shown at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Currently a lot of people are renting the selections of movies that had been up for and had won the Oscars.”

Open seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm, and ’til 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, Island entertainment gives customers the opportunity to browse, ask for recommendations, and find the right movie to fit the mood of the moment. This type of service is also something that Ms. Evasick feels sets them apart from any other movie rental option.

Their rental system is easy. All you need is a driver’s license and a debit or credit card number to keep on file ’til you return your movie. All movies are paid for when you return them and they all cost $4 for a three-day rental and an additional $1 per night that you keep it after that. There is no membership requirement or fee, though there is a membership program available that will benefit those renting three or more movies a week.

They also have for sale old VHS tapes at $.95 each and previously viewed DVDs for $4.95.

For more information, call them at 508-693-7441 or visit them at 395 State Road in Vineyard Haven (just past Cronig’s, heading south, next to Radio Shack).