As the film industry exodus continues in B.C., a local movie props business owner is being forced to sell off half his stock to make rent.
Paul Pincott, owner of Can Am Importique, will be holding a live auction online and in-house at his warehouse location at 3188 Thunderbird Cres. this weekend.
Pincott's been in business in the Lake City area for more than 30 years.
He said he will be sad to downsize and lose many of his unique items used on more than 400 movie and TV sets.
"Everybody in the industry is really upset because I'm one of the few around that can supply this stuff," he said, noting his business is one of the biggest of its kind in the Lower Mainland and downsizing will put a dent in the shrinking film industry here.
Pincott has been an active participant in the Save B.C. Film movement, aimed at lobbying the provincial government to give more incentives to production companies to stay in Hollywood North.
"Because we have it all," he said. "We have the infrastructure, we've got the climate, we've got the natural landscapes, we have prop houses and studios galore, but it's all about the almighty buck."
Just three years ago, Can Am Importique employed seven people.
Today, it's down to one. With about 25,000 film and TV mployees out of work in this province, according to Pincott, he says it's important to get this segment of the economy back up to where it was just a few years ago.
For him, it's also a personal mission.
"I'm going to be bawling on Saturday; there's so much sentimentality here," he said. "Everything (here) has a story."
From Coca-Cola signs and autographed movie memorabilia, to early slot machines, a life-sized grizzly bear, a 16 foot-tall tin man and a 25-foot long tiger shark, there is an eclectic mix of props that fill the warehouse from floor to ceiling, and many of them will have to go.
The most valuable item is an original CD Bubble jukebox, Pincott said.
He expects to get bidders from "all walks of life," from restaurant owners to pub owners, event planners, and homeowners looking for interesting conversation pieces or even décor for "man caves."
"There should be something for everyone," he said.
The auction will be in-house and live online at www.moviesetdecor.com starting at noon on Saturday, March 23.
A preview will be held Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22, from noon to 6 p.m. at 3188 Thunderbird Crescent.
For more information, visit www.canamimportique.com.