In 2010, Blockbuster, one of the biggest video rental chains in the country, went bankrupt as services like Redbox and Netflix took over the video rental industry. Despite the loss of many corporate stores, some locally-owned rental shops have managed to stay in business, including Great Falls video store Mike’s Movies & More.
For nearly a decade, Michael Clark has kept his shelves stacked and his customers coming back, but said he never expected his business would last that long.
“Me and the wife talked about it, discussed it and said well you know if we get five years out of it, it’ll be entertaining. So we started up with the idea that we were only gonna be open five years,” Clark said.
When his store opened, corporate rental stores were already starting to close up-shop. “You know there was a lot of competition then. I worked for a corporation Movie Gallery. They closed up," he explained.
While other stores went out of business, his didn’t. He attributes the store’s success to a difference in values.
“I think the big corporations were looking for the huge profit. And I don't make a good profit but it’s one of those things where one person can make a living at it,” Clark said.
Clark was more concerned about movies than money. “Watch movies - that’s what we’re here for. To actually enjoy a disc...A lot of people in the community of Great Falls love this store. The outlying communities also come into town. They like to buy movies here."
To give customers an additional incentive to keep renting, he keeps his prices lower than his online competitors, charging $1.25 for older films and $3.25 for new rentals. “We are the cheaper market,“ Clark said.
The cheap prices and consistent stream of movies keep Clark’s customers coming back for more movies. “We keep them filled with movies. and people really still need that,” Clark said.
The store is at 1900 4th Street NE; click here to visit the website .