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After Years Of Hanging In There, Neighborhood Video Store Closes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Mr. Movies has no more movies left.

The owners of the New Richmond, Wis. store sold the more than 5,000 DVDs in stock, every single one of them -- a last-minute surge in business they didn't expect. The small town video rental store closed after 25 years in business.

Gay Johnson started working there, and her husband Gary joined in 2001 after the couple decided to buy the business.

As Gary Johnson said, it's the end of an era.

"We lasted longer than most," he said.

The heyday was from 2001 to 2005. At one time, the store was so packed on weekends, they would make popcorn.

"It was almost a gathering place where people would see their friends," Gary Johnson said.

Mr. Movies Closes
(credit: Mr. Movies/Facebook)

They tried to get creative, converting art of the store into a furniture showroom, but that, he said, "never really caught on."

Gary Johnson said he has mixed feelings about closing the store.

"It's a little sad. Technology has taken over. There's a lot of pluses, but you lose some of that social interaction."

He says it's different now; people don't even have to leave their couches to rent a movie.

On the upside, he plans to retire. He retired once before as a golf course manager, and this time he plans to fish and enjoy life. He and his wife will have more time to spend with family. He insisted all is not lost.

"I made a lot of good friends there."

The store is closed, but Gary Johnson said they will donate the shelving to a local food shelf.

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