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The Rise and Fall of Video Empire

By Dan Marcel, Anna Morrill, Olivia Danchik, Chanaiah Maxwell, Toni Thompson

With the emergence of things like Netflix and OnDemand, rental stores have become a thing of the past now that people no longer have to leave their couch to watch a movie they don't own. And unfortunately for companies like Blockbuster and HollyWood Video, this "stay at home" mentality has all but bankrupted many corporations. On August 13th, Blockbuster won it's second debt payment extension in order to pay off it's over one billion dollar debt. And Hollywood Video is now all but extinct, liquidating its' assets and leaving no trace there ever was a store to begin with.

However, independently owned local video rental stores are still holding on. Despite the overwhelming odds that all video stores would close eventually, local businesses still seem to be doing alright. But it wasn't been easy. "We've started seeing decreasing revenues in the last years." says Johnathan Sherman, owner of Video City, a local video rental store. "We've had to move directly into video production." While some video stores such as this one have had to look for alternate ways to increase profits, other feel as though they are doing alright. "It [Neflix and OnDemand] effected business but we still do pretty well", says Dan Creskoff, manager of the local video store TLA.

But why is it that these local stores continue to remain open even when multimillion dollar corporations are going belly up. The answer may lie in a sense of community. "There was a culture of supporting local business." says Sherman, "There are a lot of families, a lot of residents, a lot of students." The trend video stores seem to be following is the for not only videos, but for human interaction. "There are still people who like to have face to face." says Creskoff "They like to have a personal touch, and we try to add that touch."