Family Video Completely Shutting Down After 44 Years

It's the end of an era for video rentals. Family Video is set to close its website in the near future, officially marking a complete shutdown for the chain. The chain made the announcement on Tuesday, March 1, telling fans, "We're sad to announce that we're shutting down FamilyVideo dot com." Once a staple for family movie nights, the video rental chain will shutter its services as the longest-running video chain in the U.S., outlasting the likes of Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and Movie Gallery, all of which have also shutdown.

News of the impending end was met with a wave of sadness. Reacting to the announcement, which was made via tweet and an email sent to customers, one person wrote, "That's so sad." Another person simply responded with, "depression." However, while Family Video is shutting down, fans will still get to hold on to one piece of the chain's history. Family Video confirmed that its Twitter account will "still be here for ya!"

The decision to close the Family Video website, and likewise bring an end to Family Video altogether, comes just a year after Family Video announced it would be shutting down all of its remaining stores. Variety reported in January 2021 that the chain's remaining 248 video-rental locations across the U.S. were set to close. The decision was made due to the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19," Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the real estate company that owns Family Video, said in a statement. "The impact of COVID-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era."

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Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, Family Video rose to be the largest movie and game rental chain in the United States. At its peak, the chain operated some 800 locations across the country. As it prepares to shut down its website, Family Video announced that they are currently having a sale to liquidate inventory. Customers can score 10% off sitewide on movies, CBD products, and Family Video merchandise with the code "THANKYOU" at checkout.