Premiere Video closing up

FAIRMONT – It’s the way things are going these days.

With Redbox, Netflix and other online streaming options, video stores are becoming a thing of the past.

The last day to rent movies from Premiere Video in Fairmont will be Saturday, when the store will be open regular weekend hours, from 9 a.m. to midnight. Customers can bring back movies after that via the return slot in the door.

“I’ll be sad to see you guys go,” said one woman after returning several movies on Monday.

Store manager Karen Hoppe is disappointed too. She has managed the establishment for seven years.

“As little as we are, I thought we did really well,” she said.

The decision, however, was not up to her. Premiere Video is owned by St. Cloud-based United Entertainment Corporation. The company owns six other stores, none of which are closing. Most of those stores are located in college towns.

“It’s sad to see the last video store in town close,” Hoppe said.

“No video store and no movie theater?” she asked, shaking her head in dismay.

At a video store, especially in a small town, a lot of the customers can be considered regulars, and Hoppe knows most of them by name. They’ve remained loyal for various reasons, but she realizes some have no other option.

“A lot of people don’t have credit cards, and they can’t use Redbox,” Hoppe said. “This is cheap entertainment; it really is.”

Other customers simply prefer being able to walk through a store and browse through the rental selection, but they’ll adapt out of necessity when Premiere closes.

“I’ll go to Redbox, I suppose,” said one man. “Either that or I’ll wait ’til it gets to TV.”

For anyone tempted to rent a movie and keep it – an idea that has crossed more mind than one – they will still be liable. United Entertainment Corporation will take over collecting late movies and late fees after Premiere closes.

Some of the movies from the Fairmont site will go to other Premiere Videos, but many will be available for purchase. A sale will run from April 19-21. In addition to movies and games, fixtures also will be for sale.