Many losses have come out of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but none were more tragic than the loss of Family Video.


It’s time to return some video tapes one last time.

Garrett Masters, Opinions-Editorial Editor

The recent impact this seemingly innocuous little store has had is quite an interesting one.  Founded in 1978, the video rental chain appeared like any other, like Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. However, as time passed, it did something extraordinary; it outlasted all of them.

Amidst the Netflix’s and the Hulu’s, Family Video stood tall and proud. In an age of streaming wars, Family Video was still able to do something different and stand out from the crowd.  When you opened those doors, you were transported to a world of movies, a realm of retro nostalgia. 

Your experiences were tangible. Your hunt for the right movie commenced, and you were often rewarded handsomely for your hard work. Instead of sitting on the couch, scrolling monotonously with your remote, you had memories built. 

As someone whose childhood took place amidst the seeming end of the video store age, I have many fond memories of going, searching, and exploring aisle after aisle looking for the right movie.

The chain was the last survivor of a dying breed. It remained this way for the past 40 years, and it seemed like it would remain so. That was until the pandemic struck the entertainment industry. Hard.  

With the lack of new movies being released as well as the growing concerns of social distancing, it was difficult for places like Family Video to keep up with the demand. And as more and more new content went digital, the competition was getting tougher.

The pandemic seemingly devoured everything in its wake and Family Video was no different. It went down fighting, receiving much love from social media, before finally announcing that their doors would close for good. 

Seeing this place go will be like saying goodbye to many people’s childhood. The experience will be there, and fun will be remembered. I am very thankful for the time I had with it. 

Family Video was something special, and it can not be replaced. On behalf of all the movie lovers out there, I would like to personally say thank you to the chain for putting the “family” in Family Video. You will be missed.