There were only about 250 left in the country, but Family Video is now going out of business permanently. The video store era is over.

There was a time when it was the place to be on Friday night. You'd bump into your friends perusing the aisles for a weekend flick and trade movie recommendations. If you were lucky and got there early enough, you could grab a new release from the outside wall. Some were always loitering in that far corner of the store, hoping for a glimpse into the back room behind the curtain. The era of Family Video is now over.

Family Video started as the Video Movie Club in Springfield, Illinois in 1978, charging a $25 membership fee and $5 per rental. It was able to compete with the gigantic Blockbuster Video by focusing on smaller towns in the Midwest. By 2013, most Blockbusters were gone and by 2017, Family Video was the solo surviving video rental chain. Now there are none.

We are very thankful to have been able to provide entertainment for many family movie nights.

-Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, LTD, owner of Family Video

Family Video survived the march of technology from VHS to DVDs and then Blu-Ray, then branched out into cell phone repair and were hoping CBD oil sales might save the franchise, but streaming was the final nail in the coffinWXYZ Detroit reports that liquidation sales are going on now, with remaining movies, games, CBD products and store fixtures at liquidation prices.

The Kalamazoo Family Video made the announcement on their group today: The rumors are true. We are closing. The official going out of business sales starts tomorrow (1/6) at noon, and runs through the end of February. Starting tomorrow, our new hours will be noon-8 daily. It’s heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to you all. We love you all. Thanks for supporting us!

RIP Family Video: Be kind, rewind

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Photo: Bobby Guy

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