Video Vision in West Duluth Closing

Video Vision Superior Remains Open

DULUTH, Minn. – One of the last video rental stores in the region is closing its doors for good this week.

Video Vision opened thirty-five years ago and once had six locations across the Twin Ports. Their Superior store remains open but as their Spirit Valley location closes this week, so does a once-successful industry in Duluth.

“We were the first video rental store in Duluth and we’re the last,” said Video Vision owner Brian Augustine.

Augustine opened his first Video Vision store in 1983.

“Two years before Blockbuster,” quipped Augustine.

Since then, his stores have withstood competition from national chains and major changes to media technology.

“We started out with VHS tapes and beta at one time – that didn’t last very long, evolved into laser discs and now we’re up to Blu-ray,” he explained.

Video Vision is still open today and Augustine says his store on Belknap Street in Superior still does “surprisingly” well.

“Who knows how long we’re going to be here,” he said. “As long as there’s demand for video rental and games and even tanning, we’re going to give it a go.”

But his West Duluth location is going out of business this week. Crowds of people fill the aisles looking for bargains and their last chance to experience video shopping how it used to be in Duluth.

“You can actually see the movie, you can actually read the back of the package to see what the movie’s about,” said customer Judy Wyman.

For long-time employee, Jackie Carlos, this marks the end of her twenty-seven year employment.

“I love it,” said Carlos. “I love the work, I love the customers, I love everything about it and I’m super going to miss it.”

She doesn’t know what the future holds for her and neither does her former boss as he tries to survive in a changing business landscape.

“Everybody’s downloading stuff and that looks like it’s going to be the future instead of a physical media disc,” explained Augustine.

He believes his former Spirit Valley customers will join other regulars at the Superior store; many of whom he’s gotten to know personally.

“I’m still renting movies and games to people who were little children when they started coming with their parents, like two or three generations over thirty-five years and we’re grateful to all the people in Duluth/Superior that have supported us,” said Augustine.

Now, only one video rental specialty store