Local video stores experience surprising popularity from loyal c - KCTV5 News

Local video stores experience surprising popularity from loyal customers

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Not all that long ago, it seemed like there was a Blockbuster store on nearly every corner. Then the bottom dropped out, video streaming became all the rage, and video rental stores went the way of the dinosaur. Or did they?

On a recent Friday night, KCTV5 News checked out the Family Video store in Shawnee, Kansas.

As their name implies, we found plenty of families browsing for videos.

For example, 4-year-old Jackson Amendola and his parents, who agreed on a Spongebob Squarepants video, but were looking for one more movie to rent.

Jackson's mother Kirsten said, "He really likes to come and look at the all the movies. It's fun for him. It's a good experience."

It's a similar night for the Brown family, where mom, dad, and 8-year-old Darian have all found movies.

Darian settled on "Fat Albert" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks".

His dad, Quintell, said he's ready to start binge-watching. "I got 'Central Intelligence' with Kevin Hart and the Rock," he said, "and 'The Office,' the TV show."

Darian's mom, Shante, said she made a risky selection. "It's a scary movie called 'Witch,'" she said. "I'm usually not into those, but I saw the commercial, so I wanted to try it out. I'll be saying my prayers tonight."

The Browns consider themselves regulars. They come to the video store nearly every week.

"It's convenient," Quintell said. "It's fairly cheap. You can't beat it."

Family Video's business model is working so well that there are now nearly 10 locations in the metro area and more than 750 nationwide.

Many people wonder how they compete with Netflix and other streaming services that are currently so popular.

Loyal customer Michael Frazee is a Netflix subscriber, but he said that they don't compare.

"They don't get new releases like Family Video does, and Redbox doesn't get new releases like Family Video," he explained. 

Other customers who are also fans of both Netflix and Family Video said there's just something unique about browsing the aisles of the video store and physically touching the movies they're considering renting.

Shante Brown, who is from, Shawnee said that perfectly describes her.

"I am like that," she said. "It's just the getting out. We were already going to the store, so let's grab some movies." "It's going to be cold tonight," she added. "We're going to chill and watch movies."

Some people said there is also a connection between Family Video's popularity and food.

"When people come and get a movie, they want pizza," said Family Video store manager Adam Peden. He said binge-watching makes his customers hungry.

Michael Frazee agrees. "I think what brings customers back here is the fact they opened up that pizza place, so you can order a pizza and rent a movie," he said. "Because what's better than when you rent a movie? Order a pizza."

It's no coincidence there's a Marco's Pizza right next door. That's by design.

Peden said that wherever there's a Family Video, there's usually a Marco's in the same building.

"That's a sister company," he explained. "So, if you order a pizza online for delivery, you can get a movie delivered to your house."

In addition to Family Video, there's Video Mania in Kansas City, Missouri, and you can buy and rent videos at several Vintage Stock locations.

But what about Blockbuster Video? Well, there are only 10 stores left nationwide. Six of those are in Alaska.

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