KANKAKEE — The end has come for the Family Video chain and that means the two locations here will be closed.
The locations at 375 Main Street NW in Bourbonnais and 1650 W. Court St. in Kankakee were listed among 30 stores closing in Illinois and 248 throughout the country.
Tuesday was the final day customers could rent movies and beginning today the stores will begin selling inventory. The stores will be open from noon to 8 p.m. seven days a week and sales are expected to conclude Feb. 20.
The parent company for Family Video, Highland Ventures LTD, owns the properties and will be seeking to lease the space.
Family Video had been in operation for 42 years, primarily in the upper Midwest, South and East.
Michigan was home to 57 stores and Illinois was next with 30. Ohio had 25, Wisconsin, 23 and Indiana, 21.
The Little Caesars pizza locations which adjoin the video stores will remain. Those pizza locations are leased independently.
Employees were told of the decision on Monday and customers learned of the move on Tuesday.
In addition to the sale of movies, the locations will be selling nearly everything inside the stores, including equipment, computers, posters and signage. Basically, everything must go.
Once a booming industry, rental of DVDs has faded as at-home entertainment options have become readily available through cable or satellite dish providers.
In addition to Family Video, the Kankakee County region was also home to Blockbuster Video rental stores, but those locations closed several years ago.
In a letter to employees and customers, Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, wrote the company enjoyed being part of employee and customer lives and communities for the past 42 years.
He noted the business survived 10 years longer than the big 3: Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video.
“Today, I have to make the difficult announcement that we are closing all Family Video locations. The impact of COVID-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era.”