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Movies America powers off

Movies America, a movie rental and tanning salon which has been opened on 238 N. Clark St. in Forest City since 1987, closed on Jan. 31.

Shelves are beginning to diminish at Movies America

The rest of the movie and tanning products that weren’t sold were taken to the other Movies America stores, and the tanning beds were taken by Jim Orr, the owner of Movies America who lives in Bettendorf, Iowa.  When Orr began the business, he had sixteen stores, and now he will only have three stores in Cresco and Maquoketa, Iowa and Albia, Illi.

On Jan. 3 Orr called Kim Rice, the manager, to inform her he was planning on closing the store.  From his few stores, the Movies America in Forest City struggled the most with sustaining its business.  Another reason why he was forced to make that decision is because Netflix and Redboxes have been taking away many customers from the movie rental store business.

Netflix and Redboxes have been successful due to being very convenient and cheap.  With Netflix, people can sign up for accounts online to rent movies monthly and not worry about late fees if movies aren’t mailed back after a few days. Redboxes are like vending machines that are placed at many different general stores, and people need to only pay a $1.20 for any new release.

Regardless of the success from those movie media sources, Movies America greatly benefited the community.  They were a well-suited “family oriented store” by being careful about how old kids were and the ratings from movies they were renting.  They were also “personable” by interacting with their customers.

Cameron Lowe, a Waldorf student who went there a few times, thought they were “pretty informative about their movie selection.”  He also thought it was intriguing they had a tanning salon.  “I have never seen that before,” Lowe said.

Rice thinks “it’s sad for the community” about Movies America closing and that there will be another “empty store-front” on main street.  “I’m going to miss the customers a lot,” Rice said, with much emphasis on the last word.

Suzanne Falck-Yi, honors college director and associate professor of English at Waldorf, thinks Netflix and Redboxes have good service, “but it’s not the same having a whole array of movies in front of” someone.  “I’m really sad to see Movies America closing,” Falck-Yi said.