Customers, workers mourn closure of last Family Video stores

Local News

LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — After more than 42 years in business, Family Video is shutting down all its stores across the U.S. as viewer habits shift to streaming services.

Family Video outlasted the Blockbuster Video chain, which closed up in 2014.

The last open locations in the area are in Dixon, Belvidere, Byron and Loves Park.

Christina Wallenberg says she has been managing the Loves Park location for the last 7 years, and said working at the store has always been more than a job to her.

“I loved it. I was always a long-time customer at the Family Video here. My family and I were in here almost probably every weekend to get movies ourselves,” Wallenberg said. “It was always an experience to be here, and then when I started working here, I just fell in love with the job, the people, the customers, just the whole experience. It was like the Family Video family.”

Kevin Atwood said he has been renting movies from Family Video for 30 years.

“The people were always friendly and you know, they took care of the customers,” he said, adding that he would miss the people who worked there the most.

Wallenberg said she hopes people look back at the video store and smile.

“I just want them to remember the memories. Coming in here, the nostalgia, coming in to grab a movie, you know, grab a video game, grab some snacks. Kind of walk around and look at everything,” she said.

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