Boone Family Video set to close
Family Video, 528 Story St., Boone, is set to close by early to mid-October with the store currently liquidating its merchandise.
The store, which opened in 2004, has struggled financially. It currently employs six people.
“It’s simply a store cut based on revenue,” said Shane Zaiger, a district manager. “Family Video has made the decision to move forward with approximately 300 locations remaining open. Those locations are spread out over 16 states, mainly in the Midwest.”
Zaiger said COVID-19 has impacted business — for good and bad.
“Our customers staying at home watching movies is actually good for business. So much so, when our stores re-opened in May after being shut down due to the virus, by governor order, business was actually up for a short time,” he said. “Unfortunately, Hollywood shutting down and pushing back most major theater releases for 2020 back 6-12 months is what hurt us the most that you could consider to be Covid-related.”
Competition from at-home movie services is also hurting the movie rental industry.
“Netflix getting into the action movie business in the past year mixed with Disney choosing to not release a single Disney+ exclusive on disc until this holiday season hasn’t helped either,” he noted.
Boone’s Family Video isn’t the only one set to close in the near future. By the end of October, there will only be 10 remaining Family Videos in the state of Iowa: West Des Moines, Mason City, Waterloo, Marion, Davenport, Bettendorf, Burlington, Keokuk, Fairfield and Ottumwa.
Locals weigh in on the alternative ways they watch shows and movies
“We stream 99% of the time,” Elizabeth Anne Lemke said. “But we do rent DVDs from Redbox every now and then. I think it is just easier for people to rent movies on an online streaming format because they can watch when ready and returning isn’t an issue, so no late fees. We also rent DVDs when going on a road trip so kids have movies to watch, but even now, you can download movies for offline watching with the streaming functions.”
Misty Boyd said she sees films in movie theaters, streams or buys them.
Both Lindsey Hyman and Kim Madden Ohge said they don’t own a DVD player and only stream flicks. Deanna Melhus relies on the library, Redbox and streaming for movie access.
Zaiger said Family Video will remain the owner of the Boone storefront, plus the leaser to adjoining Papa Murphy’s and Cost Cutters. In the future, the company will be looking for a tenant to occupy the space Family Video vacates.
“The only good news is that Family Video owns the buildings we operate stores in,” he said. “Owning and operating real estate is really the biggest reason we’ve survived in the movie and game rental business as long as we have when all of our other competitors have been gone for nearly a decade now.”
The Ames Family Video store closed July 16.