GREAT FALLS — The sound of opening DVD cases is a familiar one for Michael Clark - he’s been ringing up customers at his movie store in Great Falls, Mike's Movies & More at 1900 4th Street NE, for nearly 12 years.
"It's been a great thing to do in the community, taken care of a lot of people,” said Clark.
On Monday, he announced on Facebook that he's retiring. "It was really tough to make the decision. It choked me up a little bit,” said Clark.
"If you are interested in buying the business or a big chunk of inventory, contact me at 406-453-0684, during store hours. At this point, I am only selling duplicate copies or movies that haven’t rented in ages."
Over the years, he said he's had more than 20,000 titles on his shelves.
"Oh, man. Sci-fi is one of my favorite sections,” he responded when asked if he has a favorite type of movie.
But in the age of streaming services, why has the store stayed open?
"We were still doing really good. We do good with sales and rentals. There's a lot of communities up north of here, and even in Great Falls, that really appreciated me and loved it. They kept coming,” Clark said.
August Turner is a longtime customer. She said, "You never realize how much one place can almost feel like a second home. I come in here every Tuesday to get new movies and strike up friendships."
Like vinyl records, there's a certain nostalgia that comes with DVDs.
"Just browsing the aisles and picking up that movie and reading the back of it. It's tangible, it's felt, and you can't get that with a movie theater or streaming,” Turner said.
Clark hopes to sell a lot of his movies by the time he closes, but what he doesn't sell, he said, he'll probably take home along with an equally large collection of memories.
"The people that come in, all the entertainment we have, all the fun we have. Just talking, just community stuff. It's just been great, it really has,” said Clark.
The official closing date is scheduled for April 25.