After 44 years in the video rental business, Family Video is shutting down its website and permanently ending all operations. The video rental chain made the announcement via Twitter, saying, “We’re sad to announce that we’re shutting down FamilyVideo dot com.” They announced a closeout sale in the same tweet. With a 44 year run, Family Video has outlasted other video rental chains such as Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, and Blockbuster (though Blockbuster still has one operating store). While the website is shutting down, Family Video will not be shutting down its Twitter account, allowing them to continue interaction with loyal customers.
😢 We’re sad to announce that we’re shutting down FamilyVideo dot com. The upside? Deals for you! Grab 10% off sitewide on movies, CBD products and Family Video merch with code THANKYOU
— Family Video (@FamilyVideo) March 1, 2022
The Family Video rental chain started in 1978 when Charlie Hoogland took over his father’s company, Midstates Appliance & Supply Company. The company had been a distributor for Magnetic Video, which was Hollywood’s first videocassette supplier. However, Midstates was stuck with a large cassette inventory since no one wanted to pay the asking prices. Hoogland’s team came up with the idea of renting out the videocassettes. He opened the first Video Movie Club of Springfield in 1978, and as more stores started popping up, he rebranded it as family video. Hoogland’s son Keith took over as President in 1995. Charlie Hoogland died in 2020.
PopCulture reports that Family Video closed all of its remaining 248 stores in early 2021. Keith Hoogland said in a statement at the time, “While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era.”
The fact that Family Video lasted as long as it did is quite remarkable, as Netflix’s DVD service alone was able to drive many video rental chains out of business. The rise of streaming services only caused further devastation. However, video rental chains are now a strangely missed relic of the past. So much so that one group wants to bring back Blockbuster as a streaming service.
Are you sad that the Family Video rental chain is officially ending after 44 years? Do you have memories of going to the store to rent movies with your family? Share those memories at The Nerd Stash Facebook page and @TheNerdStash on Twitter. And don’t forget to like and follow.