Family Video needs to find a new location

Marshalltown Family Video employee Taylor Bear is still all smiles with customers on Dec. 31. A line of patrons waited to get movies on New Year’s Eve.

Some changes are on the horizon for Family Video in Marshalltown.

General manager Shane Nehlsen said the video rental business has until Jan. 18 to be out of its State Street location.

That means Nehlsen has to find a new home for Family Video. The business needs 2,000 square feet.

Nehlsen said Family Video got the news shortly before Christmas. The reason for the move is that Dollar General will use the building. Calls made to Dollar General headquarters were not returned at press time.

Nehlsen said Family Video has been in the State Street location for more than 18 years and has been a fixture of the community.

Family Video on State Street in Marshalltown has been there for more than 18 years, but the rental store has to find a new location. The business needs to be out of the building by Jan. 18.

“I love the Marshalltown area and its people,” Nehlsen said. “We have a strong connection to the community.”

He wants to keep Family Video in Marshalltown and has been making calls in attempts to find a location. However, Nehlsen said it has proven difficult with the tight time frame. Not only does he have to find a spot for Family Video, but everything has to be moved if he is successful. When people walk in to Family Video, they still see the familiar shelves with the plethora of DVDs, some snack items located near the checkout station. A movie is still playing on the television screens. However now there are numerous boxes sitting beside the checkout counter.

Saying that Family Video is closing is not something Nehlsen is ready to do yet. The thought has crossed his mind since the rental store has only a limited amount of time. Nehlsen has chosen to continue the fight to keep the business in Marshalltown, though.

It holds a special place in his heart. The Marshalltown location was the first store Nehlsen ever took over and he has formed relationships with the customers. He has watched children grow up and takes pride in providing excellent service.

“This is a place where you know people and they enjoy coming here,” Nehlsen said. “They pick out movies and we interact with them. We give them suggestions. That is not something you get from streaming.”

Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Now, along with rental kiosks like Redbox have had a large impact on the video rental industry, Mom and pop rental stores have closed across the country. Blockbuster closed all of its stores except one in Oregon. Family Video has 550 locations with most of them in the Midwest.

Nehlsen attributes that to Family Video being family owned and a willingness to branch out into other items. A number of locations have partnered with Marco’s Pizza. Some sell CBD items.

“We try to bring other things into the business so we can offer more than just movies,” he said. “We have also always kept prices low and affordable.”

Nehlsen said if anyone has an idea where Family Video can relocate in Marshalltown, please let him know.

“Reach out to us and let us know,” he said. “I would love to keep it around. I would really like to thank the community for its support and all of the great people I have met over the years.”


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