Less than four years after downsizing and moving east, The Video Station — Boulder's beloved, and last, film-rental outlet — is closing its doors next week after 35 years in business.
The store, located at 5290 Araphaoe Ave. since leaving its longtime 28th Street home in 2013, announced on its website that it will close for good at 6 p.m. March 6.
"Unfortunately, the economics of brick-and-mortar retail finally caught up to us, after more than 35 years in business," the shop's owner wrote in a note titled "End of an Era."
"We sincerely say thank you for your support — to all of you."
The Video Station opened in 1982 at a location off 38th Street and Arapahoe Avenue. In 1990, the rental shop moved to the Buffalo Village Shopping Center at 1661 28th St. to accommodate a growing movie collection that eventually topped 50,000 titles.
In 2013, owner Bruce Shamma moved the store to a smaller location in east Boulder, but remained optimistic about his loyal customer base. That same year, the Blockbuster Video outlet on 28th Street closed, leaving The Video Station as the only rental shop left in Boulder.
"Boulder is a great place. People are loyal to small, independent businesses. We have some customers that come in every day."
But the video rental business has seen massive change in recent years as online streaming through outlets like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon becomes ubiquitous. Chains such as Blockbuster, Movie Trading Co., Hollywood Video and Video Update have closed locations, and grocers eliminated rental departments in favor of RedBox kiosks.
Just last fall, though, The Video Station was prominently featured in a Wall Street Journal article titled "Revenge of the Video Store" that spotlighted shops that "sell film-nerd specialization to battle behemoths like Netflix."
In that article, Shamma noted The Video Station saw a boost in customers following the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as fans looked for other "Star Wars" movies that weren't streaming online.
"We were the only game in town," Shamma told the Journal.
Matt Sebastian: 303-473-1350, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/mattsebastian
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