The times they are a changin’. When I was a little kid, Movie Gallery dominated the local movie rental scene. While the video cassette distributer didn’t 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 location’s 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 doesn’t really surprise me, though, as I’d 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 don’t always think out our brilliant schemes through before enacting them.

If you’re one of Movie Gallery’s 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 wouldn’t hold my breath though. Overcoming a reputation of mediocrity isn’t exactly something you can do overnight.

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