Mr. Movies Closing Two More Stores

By Dave DeWitte

CORALVILLE - The movie rental wars will claim two more casualties this weekend when Mr. Movies closes one Cedar Rapids store at 806 34th St. SE and its Iowa City store at 960 S. First Ave.

Corporate owner Movie Brands Inc. of Edina, Minn., decided against renewing the expiring leases at the two locations because of business conditions, Director of Operations Jim Kramer said.

Entering into a long-term lease without the expectation that the stores would remain open would be unfair to both the landlord and the retailer, he said. Talks were held with the Iowa City landlord about leasing a smaller amount of space, Cramer said, but they eventually did not work out for either party.

Rental operations have already ceased at the stores, Cramer said. An inventory liquidation sale will wrap up on Sunday.

Cramer said Mr. Movies' store at 365 Edgewood Road NW in Cedar Rapids will remain open. A Hollywood Video store in the vicinity closed recently, Cramer said, and it's hoped that the Mr. Movies store will pick up some of the rentals that had been going to Hollywood Video.

A list of the company's remaining locations can be found at the Mr. Movies web site.

Movie rental stores have struggled because of growing competition from technology-based alternatives. They include growing use of Red Box, which uses a vending machine instead of a fully-staffed store, Netflix, which is a subscription-based rental-by-mail business, and video on demand services that use cable TV or other broadband connections to download movies in digital files.


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