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Customers say they will miss Homewood Family Video

A forlorn-looking Family Video store in Homewood as it appeared in mid-February after closing permanently. (Nick Ulanowski/H-F Chronicle)

The Homewood Family Video closed Feb. 14, a week earlier than expected, because according to a Family Video employee, “someone came in and bought everything.”

The details behind the sale were not disclosed. “It was a private sale,” said the employee.

“I hate the fact that Family Video is closing. It’s terrible,” said Pat Hough, a customer at the store’s going out of business sale. “It’s great to have this store in the neighborhood. It’s a great place to come. It’s a great place for families. It’s going to leave a void in the neighborhood.”

“It was a great place to come on the weekends when school was over for the week. If your report card was good or you were good in school, your parents would take you to Family Video,” said Ryan Skelly, 35, another customer at the sale, referring to the free movie rentals Family Video gave to students who earned good grades. 


“And there’d be endless amounts of movies to choose from. I’m speechless about the closing. But apparently that’s just what the new life is leading into – just stay home and don’t leave,” Skelly said.


According to store management, corporate officials informed staff of the closing the day before it was announced to the public on Jan. 5. After the announcement, the Homewood store launched a going out of business sale. The store was packed with eager shoppers, many of whom had stacks of used DVDs and Blu-ray discs in their arms.

A manager at the Homewood location, who preferred not to be identified by name, said they’d suspected “for a while” that the store was going to close. “Many stores were closing beforehand. And then, we’re normally never closed on holidays, but we were closed this year,” she said. “COVID had an impact, but I felt like we were doing pretty fine.”

Family Video outlasted other video rental stores partially because its fees were less than competitors. Renting a movie at the store cost less than renting a movie digitally. The store also had a section where you could rent two movies for $1; a Favorites section where rentals were $1; and a Prequels and Sequels section where DVDs and Blu-rays were $2 to rent. 

Family Video’s online presence will remain, selling DVDs, Blu-rays, T-shirts and other products.

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