Who still rents movie videos? We do, apparently

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By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

There is arguably nothing better after a long week than melting into the couch and wasting a few hours binge watching Netflix. There are thousands of titles available as fast as the video can buffer. This convenience has surely made it tough for video stores to say open, though there are survivors.

According to the Entertainment Merchant Association, Family Video still operates 775 stores in 19 states, including one in Grand Ledge at 615 S. Clinton St.

Grand Ledge Family Video employee Andrea Parks said Grand Ledge’s small-town feel allows for a movie rental business to succeed even with the existence of video streaming companies.

“There isn’t always a lot to do here, so it’s something to do,” said Parks, “When our power had to be disconnected a few weeks ago with the addition of the AT&T store next door, it was the talk of the town.”

Parks said another reason Family Video is still relevant in Grand Ledge is that physical video renting offers customers a fuller experience than streaming can offer.

“People like to physically come in, pick out a movie, have a movie night and talk about it,” Parks said, “They like the whole feel of it.”

According to www.thegamingmonitor.com and Entertainment Merchants Association’s 2015 Discs and Digital report, Family Video has survived for other reasons as well.

“Family is unique in that it owns and develops most of its locations and has developed 600 retail strip centers,” the report said. “Family Video locations are often situated adjacent to Family’s own Marco’s Pizza stores, and offer one-stop shopping for dinner and entertainment.”

Chart created by Rachael from data from EMA report data

Chart created by Rachael Daniel from data from EMA report data

Though Grand Ledge’s Family Video is missing its pizza partner, customers still find their way to the doors.

Customer Deb VanDeVusse said she comes to Family Video specifically to rent video games.

“Family Video is really good for renting video games, since you can’t stream video games,” VanDeVusse said.

Although Grand Ledge resident Talyor McCrackin said she has not rented a movie from the store in over two years, she still understands the appeal.

Location of Family Video in Grand Ledge Map by Rachael Daniel

Location of Family Video in Grand Ledge
Map by Rachael Daniel

McCrackin said, “Family Video comes out with movies a lot earlier than Netflix does, so that aspect is nice.”

McCrackin said that cost is another important factor enticing customers.

“It usually only costs maybe three dollars to rent a new release movie for the night,” said McCrackin.

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