Boonsboro Video closing

owner says too many movie-watching resources to compete

April 07, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Kathryn Hartle, owner of Boonsboro Video, will be closing the store at South Potoamc Street in Boonsboro.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

The last video-rental store in Boonsboro is closing its doors.

Boonsboro Video, which has been at 7 Potomac St. since 1989, is closing and selling all of its videos and games at discounted prices, store owner Kathryn Hartle said recently.

“There’s too many resources with DISH Network, the Internet, cable television and DirecTV,” as well as Redbox, she said. “It just got to where I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Hartle said the way people watch movies now has been causing video-rental stores to go out of business for a while. She said she had been losing money on the store.

“The last three years have been horrible,” she said. “It’s been a very quick death.”

The store opened in 1984, with Hartle operating it out of 6 S. Main St. She said she had to pay rent on that property, and everything purchased for the store was paid for upfront.

To help pay for products, she said the store sold $20 coupon books for 11 rentals, and that money was spent on buying more videos, which at that time cost $60 to $70, she said.

“It was a lot of work and took a lot of money,” Hartle said.

Boonsboro Video opened within two weeks of two other video stores on Main Street, Hartle said, but it outlasted the others. Eventually it moved to Potomac Street, and Hartle, who owned that property, said that at one point people were lining up at the door to rent movies.

Norma Fraley of Brownsville took a job working at the store about five years ago and talked about how it once was a trademark of the town.

“People came from Hagerstown, Sharpsburg and all around to rent movies,” she said. “It’s sad to see it go.”

Deborah Griffith of Boonsboro said she used to rent movies from the store regularly, but does not do so anymore.

“When my kids were smaller, we used to come every week and they could pick movies as a reward for behaving,” said Griffith, 47. “I haven’t been there in a few years because everything I get is through the Internet and Redbox.”

Steve Shaffer, 61, of Boonsboro, said that because of Netflix and Redbox, the store’s closing was inevitable and “bound to happen.”

The store is attached to Potomac Street Creamery at 9 Potomac St., which will not close.

Krista Green of Boonsboro, who has worked at the creamery for eight years, said the store has been a huge asset.

“A lot of people rent movies and come over here and buy ice cream,” she said. “I’m going to miss everybody that works over there.”

DVDs are on sale at the store for as little as $3, while VHS tapes are selling for as little as $1.

Hartle said she hopes to have the store closed by the end of this month.

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