Pleasanton Weekly

News - February 12, 2010

Pleasanton's only Hollywood Video closing

Santa Rita store a victim of parent company's bankruptcy filing, competition from Netflix, Redbox

by Janet Pelletier

Hollywood Video, a staple in the Amador Village Shopping Center on Santa Rita Road, is closing.

Signs announcing storewide closing sales have been posted

An employee who answered the phone Monday said the announcement was made last Monday and that the store has been given up to two months before it will shutter its doors for good.

The closure is one of some 800 Hollywood Video's parent company, Movie Gallery, is expected to carry out across the nation. In the East Bay, other locations closing include Castro Valley, Walnut Creek, Concord, Pittsburg and Oakley.

According to a report from Reuters, Movie Gallery has filed for bankruptcy, the second time in three years. The first bankruptcy came in 2007, when the company reportedly was unable to sustain the debt it took on in an $850-million acquisition of rival Hollywood Entertainment in 2005, as it agreed to assume $350 million of Hollywood Entertainment's borrowings.

The way people rent movies has evolved from rental chain models such as Hollywood and Blockbuster, which closed a store on Sunol Boulevard in 2007 due to lack of sales. Competitors like Los Gatos-based Netflix, which offers rentals by mail with pre-paid postage for returns, and Coinstar's Redbox, which offers kiosks in grocery and drug stores, have risen in popularity.

In addition, more and more people are using digital video recording devices and online streaming services and thus, are finding less time for traditional movie rentals.

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