Another video store goes the way of Blockbuster
Another video store goes the way of Blockbuster Melissa Kopka/Getty Images

This post was updated at 1:00 p.m.

There are only two video stores left in Seattle.

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When you call Fremont's Video Isle, the phone rings on and on until a recording crackles through.

"After 32 and a half years we are sorry to announce that we have closed our doors," says the woman's voice on the answering machine.

Video Isle, a staple of the Fremont neighborhood located on Fremont Avenue, closed its doors on December 31. The store announced the closure with a sign pasted on its door. "Farewell Fremont," it begins.

The store opened nearly 33 years ago in the Queen Anne neighborhood. That location closed in 2015. The Fremont location was featured in a September 2018 Seattle Times article about the last remaining video stores in Seattle. Just three months later, it closed.

"Come to our liquidation sale starting Friday January 4th at 12 pm and purchase previously viewed copies of your favorite movies," the sign reads.

The woman on the tape echoed a similar sentiment.

"We'd love to hear your stories and share in some of your memories," she added. "Be sure to stop by. We will miss you all."

Scarecrow Video in the University District and Reckless Video in Maple Leaf are now the only video stores left in Seattle.

Video Isle did not immediately respond to The Stranger's request for comment.

Update: 12:48 p.m.

Video Isle noticed changes in its customer flow starting last year when neighboring businesses started closing. That reduced the customer flow through Video Isle, Tonya Perfect, the owner since 2014, said. They weren't successful in recruiting new customers and ultimately had to fold.

Despite all the changes in the industry, Video Isle was able to stay afloat.

"Definitely customer service and community involvement led us to stay in business so long," Perfect said. "We still have customers that have been coming in for 30 years, kids grew up and brought their families in because of all the customer service and goodness and family goodness that they got in our video store—also the free popcorn."

Perfect is saddened about the closure but, mostly, she feels sorry for the community.

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"We were such a big part of the neighborhood," she said. "And we have quite a bit of inventory—stuff that you can't get anywhere online—not being able to share library? It’s a loss all the way around."

For now, Perfect will be hosting an inventory sale from Jan. 4 through Jan. 13. After that, it's curtains for Video Isle. She'll compile the inventory she has left and has plans for the future—ideas of how to bring movies back to the community in a different, more mobile, way. She's keeping those cards close to her chest for now.

"Video Isle as a whole appreciates all the customers who were with us for so long," Perfect said.

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