North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Business

May 13, 2010

Movie store closings affect area

NORTH JEFFERSON — If you live in Gardendale or Fultondale, you may have seen the Movie Gallery stores liquidating their inventories for the past month.

The company finally shed some light on the situation Monday by announcing the closing of all stores nationwide. Details beyond that remain a mystery.

“They haven’t specifically told us why,” said a manager for one of the two stores in north Jefferson County, who wished to remain anonymous. “They said it was a combination of bad management and just not making the money they needed to.”

Movie Gallery has filed for bankruptcy twice, in September 2007 and February 2010. The manager said she didn’t think the company would be revived again.

“When customers don’t bring back movies they’ve rented, and then throw a hissy fit ... you don’t make the money you’re supposed to,” said the manager.

The stores have been liquidating their stores for about a month, and are even selling furniture, computers and store fixtures.

“They won’t tell us when it’s closing. We didn’t even know it was closing until the day before the liquidation guy came,” the manager said. She also said she can’t claim unemployment unless she stays until the store’s final day.

“We can’t look for a new job... We don’t know when we’ll stop working here. It’s kind of hard to know what you’re doing,” said the manager. “Some of us have kids, you know.”

Employees at both stores in north Jefferson County attributed part of the bankruptcy to new movie rental services like Netflix and Redbox.

“I think people are going to miss it,” said Brittany Horsley, a senior customer service associate at the Fultondale Movie Gallery. “You can only get new releases in the Redboxes.” She also said she thinks people will miss being able to rent games from the store.

Movie Gallery was founded in Dothan, Ala., in 1985. They also owned Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores, which are closing as well.

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