Movie Gallery in North Adams to close

Friday March 12, 2010

North Adams Transcript

NORTH ADAMS — The Movie Gallery at Steeple City Plaza isn’t listed among some 760 nationwide stores slated for closure on its corporate Web site, but signs within the local video store tell a different story.

“This store will no longer be receiving new releases because of store closing” a hand-written message on a large white board inside the store’s front door reads.

The store is expected to close with the others within six weeks, which will leave the city without a video- and game-rental store.

Store manager Jennifer Coody declined to comment Thursday and referred all questions about the closing to the company’s corporate headquarters in Wilsonville, Ore.

This is the third round of store closings for Movie Gallery inc., which owns about 2,000 Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores in the United States and Canada.

In 2007, the company closed 520 stores when it initially filed for bankruptcy. in February 2008, it closed another 400 “underperforming” stores, including the Movie Gallery in the stop & Shop Plaza on State Road.

A recorded message on the company’s media line refers all questions about its most recent Chapter 11 restructuring and store closings to the company’s Web site, www.moviegallery.com, and says that its policy “is not to respond to media inquiries about store closings.”

the process of closing, according to the Web site, include the Hollywood Video on Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield, along with two others in Albany and Clifton Park, N.Y., and Movie Gallery stores in Greenfield, Easthampton, Palmer and Springfield.

The company has attributed poor performance and dropping sales to Internet rival, Netflix, and the recent popularity of “Redbox” rental machines found at local grocery stores and shopping centers such as Walmart, Big Y and stop & Shop, which rent new titles for $1. Movie Gallery charges $4 or more.

In February, the company announced in a news release it had received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to restructure its assets, which would allow it to “continue to pay employee wages, salaries and benefits; continue to honor customer programs, including memberships, gift cards and store credits; and pay vendors for goods and services which the company purchases after the Chapter 11 filing.”

In addition, the company announced it would close and liquidate the holdings of 760 underperforming stores and renegotiate current leases. The release also noted that the company would continue to close stores as it saw fit during the restructuring process. Its Canadian stores are not included in the filing.

To reach Jennifer Huberdeau,e-mail jhuberdeau@thetranscript.com.

Movie Gallery in North Adams to close


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