RIP Family Video: Last Stores in Cincinnati Closing as Video Rental Chain Shutters Nationwide

Family Video, the last bastion of brick-and-mortar DVD rentals, announced this week that it will close its remaining 250 shops around the country.

Photo: Michael Barera/WIkimedia

It is officially the end of an era.

Family Video, the last bastion of brick-and-mortar DVD rentals, announced this week that it will close its remaining 250 shops around the country, including two in Greater Cincinnati (in Fairfield and Elsmere, Kentucky), due to financial fallout from the pandemic.

With few new movie releases from Hollywood and various public health restrictions in place across the country, the company had seen cratering revenue. It had hoped to weather the pandemic with online sales, even launching a #SavetheVideoStore campaign in late 2020.

The prolonged pandemic proved too much.

Family Video was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1978 and expanded to hundreds of locations, outlasting Blockbuster and other video rental chains and enduring through the era of universal on-demand streaming services.

“What began as a handful of 500 square foot video rental locations, grew to 800 locations with up to 7,000 square feet of video rental and retail,” Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures LTD, shared in a statement. “Surviving 10 years longer than the Big 3, Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video, we are among the few that started with Beta, moved on to VHS and remained a part of the DVD & Blu-Ray Era.”

In 2019, Family Video pivoted to selling CBD products in addition to movie rentals and concessions, an attempt to offer something its competitor — at-home streaming services — could not.

Family Video locations will close once all of its stock, including DVDs, video games, fixtures, and CBD products, are sold off as part of its company-wide liquidation sale.

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