Movie Gallery Goes Belly-Up
The times they are a changiní. When I was a little kid, Movie Gallery dominated the local movie rental scene. While the video cassette distributer didnít hold a complete monopoly over my town, it decimated all competitors including the lowly Tape Escape, but as I progressed through elementary school, both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video began syphoning off profits like a disgruntled hobo in need of gas. Within a few years, Movie Gallery was the new Tape Escape, the original having closed due to an unwillingness to offer DVD rentals. The recent emergence of NetFlix led to one nearby Movie Gallery locationís closing a few months ago, and now the once mighty chain has filed for bankruptcy.
According to Reuters, the defeatist move came amidst pilling debts that amounted to over a half billion dollars. Not exactly an easy financial mountain to climb for someone peddling one dollar rentals. The collapse doesnít really surprise me, though, as Iíd long boycotted Movie Gallery in favor of the 4 for 20 deal at Hollywood Video, save for one brief return that saw me permanently banned after a friend attempted to rent Mona Lisa Smile after replacing the disc with Muffy: The Vampire Slayer. My buddies and I donít always think out our brilliant schemes through before enacting them.
If youíre one of Movie Galleryís last remaining customers, all is not lost. The rental company is planning to invest some more funds after the court case, in a possible return to glory. I wouldnít hold my breath though. Overcoming a reputation of mediocrity isnít exactly something you can do overnight.