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Fans of the bricks-and-mortar video store have yet another reason to mourn today, as Oregon-based Movie Gallery is purported to be considering its second bankruptcy filing in two years. The nation’s second-largest rental store chain is said to be looking at a closure of up to 1,000 locations; nearly 40% of its U.S. stores.

Movie Gallery has struggled with financial issues since 2005, when the company overleveraged itself in its acquisition of Hollywood Video.
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The chain closed hundreds of locations last year in an effort to reduce costs, but is still burdened with about $600 million in debt. Liquidators contacted by The Wall Street Journal reported that Movie Gallery had already asked them to bid on the inventory of an undisclosed number of locations.

It seems we’re getting to the last chapters in the story of the traditional video store, Insiders. Will you mourn them when they’re all gone? Or will you be too busy getting your movies in the mail, online or from your local Redbox to care?
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[via Home Media Magazine and The Wall Street Journal]

6 Responses to “Movie Gallery Looking to Shutter 40% of Locations”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    wilmabird [visitor]

    I’m not suprised the MOVIE GALLERY is closing stores. I was a longtime HOLLYWOOD VIDEO customer (since 1998). I was a MVP member and later a 2 movie out POWERPLAY. I finally decided to close my account in December 2009. I found myself renting from the local REDBOX kiosk and viewing CLASSIC movies immediatly on NETFLIX (Instant que).

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dan Nations [visitor]

    I love the concept of brick and mortar stores, you can never replace the ability of going into a video store and actually holding the box and reading it like we all did in the 80’s and early 90’s but unfortunately the magic is gone. We live in a time where through the internet we already know what day movies come out and we can look at dvd release dates.

    I think the decline of the video store started when they began they’re quest for quantity versus quality. I understand the need for it but having an entire shelf dedicated to one movie limits space. If I go into a video store anymore I’m generally looking through the old movies trying to find some lost treasure that I’ve somehow missed but movie gallery specifically doesn’t have many movies made before 1995.

    Blockbuster is slightly better but their prices are ridiculous. At the Blockbuster near my house their older titles still cost nearly 5 dollars. I can simply purchase old movies for that. If brick and mortar stores changed their main focus towards their older movie titles and dropped them to $1.00 or even $1.50 a disc I think they might bring some business back in, but I think the damage is already done.

    I’ve given up on even walking into video stores now as I know I’ll simply be disappointed when I walk out empty handed and I’m sure that’s how most people feel. Oh well, I’ll always have my memories of going into Kroger Video, Video Vault and the wonderful mom and pop video stores that used to exist. I don’t think I ever walked out empty handed back then.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    James [visitor]

    I feel badly for Movie Gallery employees. Have you seen their latest plan to save the company? Check out the terms for their PowerPlay scheme:

    In short, if you pay them $8, $15 or $25 per month, you can then rent videos for “as low as” $2, but generally in the $5 range, I believe. How out of touch can you get? Did they really think that would work?

    Granted, in their universe, DVDs released within the past two years still rent for $7, so maybe that appeared to make sense to someone.

    Yet, in our town for example, with six Redboxes within a 2-mile radius — including in the doorway of every grocery store — how did Movie Gallery expect that people wouldn’t figure out that they could save $6 per rental by visiting a Redbox 24/7?

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tracey [visitor]

    I am a former employee of Movie Gallery and their upper management is far too concerned in the next best scheme to get money from their customers. This causes a severe lack in genuine customer service. Employees are pentalized when their Powerplay sales are low or when they take initiative in provided a customer with what they actually need instead of whatever item makes the most money for the company. It isn’t surprising to me that this company is on the verge of bankruptcy.