One of Vermont's last video rental stores closing

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Rewind a couple of decades and Friday nights used to consist of hitting a movie rental spot and picking out a flick for the night.

Saturday, one of the last remaining DVD rental stores in Vermont is closing its doors for good.

That family movie-rental tradition has been replaced by streaming video services like Netflix, which give people access to an ever-changing video library from the comfort of their homes.

Our Ike Bendavid talked to the owner about why she's shutting the video store down.

Located just outside of downtown St. Johnsbury, Video King has ruled the Northeast Kingdom for almost 30 years.

"It's hard to let it go," owner Dawn Leroux said.

The little store is packed wall to wall with movies, some you love and some you may have never seen before.

The store will stop all late fees and close its doors on Saturday.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: Did you enjoy it?
Dawn Leroux: I loved it... I loved it.

Leroux said after several decades of business, she made the decision last winter to close. She says more people have turned to streaming movies online.

"Instant gratification," she said. "They don't want to go to a video store."

As streaming platforms have grown in popularity through the years, Leroux says the last few years she sold things like figurines and CBD to get people in the door. It helped but it wasn't enough.

"That made four more years possible. Otherwise, we would have closed in 2015," she said.

This year-- the final scene. Leroux says distributors stopped sending promotional items like posters and informational brochures about upcoming movies.

"We can't produce those," she said. "There's no way we can produce those for what we were getting them for."

In the final days, everything in the store must go.

Jeff and Nancy Riffe are visiting from Missouri. They saw the sign and looked to get some deals.

"Something, movies-- whatever," Jeff Riffe said.

But they say there's something special about stepping into a video rental store. They say they are old school and prefer it that way.

So in the final days, Leroux's message to her community is to think local.

"Everyone is sad that we are going but a little more local business support is something everyone needs to focus on," she said.

For Leroux, it's now time to relax.

"The summer off, kick back and relax because I haven't had a boss in 22 years," she said.

Video King's last day is June 29.

Leroux says she knows of one other video store left in the state, Nancy's Video in Irasburg.