WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- After more than 20 years, Hollywood video stores in Oregon and around the country are closing up shop. There will be no sequel. It's the end.
Employees at the Wilsonville headquarters were notified last Friday. Movie Gallery is the current owner. The company filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Now it's in liquidation.
Blame technology more than the economy for this latest drama.
1,900 Movie Gallery, Game Crazy and Hollywood Video stores are on their last reel.
The retail sales of movies and games is a dying business model, said Troy Poff, who was let go from Hollywood Video last fall during the first round of lay-offs.
With a mountain of debt, Movie Gallery closed hundreds of stores earlier this year including abruptly shutting 13 leased stores at Fred Meyer locations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Poff says Hollywood Video was not up to date with new technology ways to deliver movies.
There were a lot of initiatives at Hollywood, that for one reason or another did not go, or take off as planned, or just bad business decisions in general, said Poff.
But not enough to compete with Netflicks, streaming video on demand and Red Box rental kiosks.
I think we've all seen it coming for years, said Ralph Cole with Wellman Ferguson Capital Management says what's left will be lots of square footage. What are you going to replace it with, it could be unwanted real estate, he said.
At one time Hollywood Video was one of Oregon's Fortune 1000 companies. It started with one shop in 1988 in Southeast by Mark Wattles. When we talked to the former owner in 2002, he had 1,800 stores and 23,000 employees with plans to expand.
In 2005 Movie Gallery out of Alabama bought the company. Soon it was the beginning of the end.
Most of the Portland stores are in going out of business mode ,They expect to be open for the next month to liquidate inventory.