Lee County, GA (WALB) – Soon, you'll no longer be able to rent movies at a popular video retailer. Movie Gallery has filed for bankruptcy and is terminating its remaining business operations. Company officials say it's in the best interest of the company and its creditors.
According to employees the Movie Gallery store in Lee County will shut down in six to eight weeks. Not only are the employees working at the store going to be affected, but so are several businesses in the area.
For many, this strip mall in Lee County is a one-stop shop.
"They will do their shopping, come get their insurance, get a quote and go to Winn Dixie," said State Farm Owner Kelly Price.
But news of all Movie Galleries shutting its doors has taken some folks by surprise.
"I was shocked, kinda like the employees, it was a last minute thing they found out at the last minute," said Price.
Movie Gallery, owner of Hollywood Video, is planning to close more than 1,900 stores and liquidate, as more customers get movies in the mail and in vending machines.
"To have such a large walk in business go out of business, it's going to affect everyone in this area," said Penny McKelvey, stylist at Dixie Do's.
Kelly Price owns the State Farm business next door to Movie Gallery. "With the movie gallery moving we are going to lose some of our walk-in traffic," she said.
Which means more work will have to be done to bring in customers. "We are going to have to pump up some of the sales and advertise a little bit more so that people know we are still here in the strip mall and still open for business."
For the past few weeks Movie Gallery has no longer been getting in new releases.
Which has customers who pay a monthly fee like Robert Huskey wondering what to do. "It just sucks, because they don't have any new releases and I can't afford and get nothing so I got to go around town."
But the closing is not bad for all business. "We just knew they were not going to be buying new releases and we plan to continue buying new releases so we put a sign up that said we welcome movie gallery customers,"said Stan Patrick owner of Videos Unlimited.
Stan Patrick, owner of Video Unlimited , says it will help business. "We do expect to see a spike in business."
Before each location closes it will go through a liquidation sale, so folks can come in and buy any of the movies. The location in Albany has already shut its doors.