Family Video opened its doors to its newest store, along Route 48 in Fulton.
The opening completed a long-running story, which began with the closing of the First Congregational Church at the corner of Broadway and Route 48.Ã‚Â The church’s membership had dwindled to the point where the remaining members could not support the upkeep of the building and its ministry.
It sat empty for a year, while details were worked out for the store’s construction.
Last fall, the church and two adjacent homes came down and the Family Video store and a large parking lot began to be built.
Mark Dunbar, the store’s manager, said the outlet is a $1.25 million business.Ã‚Â It employs 6 people now, but the store is still hiring and hopes to add 3 more to the staff.
The traditional video rental industry is under severe strain.
Only two players in the video rental market are growing:Ã‚Â Netflix, which mails movies to subscribers’ homes, and Redbox, a network of grocery store kiosks renting movies for a dollar.
Brick-and-mortar outlets such as Blockbuster recently reported losses much larger than analysts had expected, and third-ranking renter Movie Gallery announced last week it may file for bankruptcy and may have to close more than 1,000 of its 1,800 stores.
In Fulton, the homegrown rental outlet Video One closed last year, leaving Movie Gallery and Redbox (at Price Chopper) to slug it out with the newcomer.
Family Video touts itself as the largest family-owned video retailer in the country, with more than 500 outlets.