Poulsbo's sole video store set to close

POULSBO — Poulsbo is losing its only video rental store.

Over the next few weeks, Hollywood Video, 19835 10th Ave., will liquidate its selection of videos and video games. For nearly a month its videos have no longer been for rent. Instead, they are for sale at discounted prices.

The liquidation is part of the bankruptcy proceedings of Hollywood Video's parent company, Movie Gallery Inc.

A Hollywood Video in Port Orchard is also closing its doors. Other Hollywood Video stores in Silverdale, Bremerton and Port Orchard closed earlier this year.

Employees confirmed the store is closing but weren't sure exactly when, and said they're not authorized to speak to the press. An automated message on a media line for the company said according to policy, representatives are "for the most part not responding to media inquires." A phone message left on the line was not returned.

Employees at the Bethel Road Hollywood Video in Port Orchard are telling customers the store will be closed in about a month.

The success of Netflix, Redbox and online movies have been listed by many in the industry as the cause of so many rental store closures. Sales at movie-by-mail company Netflix Inc. rose 25 percent in the first quarter of this year, and $1 rental kiosk company Redbox Automated Retail LLC now operates 25,000 kiosks nationwide. Twenty of those kiosks are in Kitsap, including two in Poulsbo, in Albertsons, 19561 7th Avenue NE, and Walmart, 21200 Olhava Way NW.

Kingston's Peninsula Video and Bainbridge Island's Silver Screen Video are two of the last independent rental stores in Kitsap. Jerry Clark, owner of Silver Screen, said business isn't as easy as it used to be.

"It's tough," he said, listing online movies, Netflix and cable as each having taken a cut out of what he calls the industry's "pie."

Silver Screen survived by cutting down the space it rents and cutting back staff, Clark said. The store also offers rental specials and sells used DVDs online.

Clark and his son, Jeff Clark, the store's general manager, said they know the industry is changing, but they'll keep their doors open as long as it makes sense economically.

"We're not going anywhere," Clark said.

For more on the rental industry countywide, read "Roll Credits: More Kitsap movie rental stores closing," in this week's edition of What's Up.

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