CHICO – Rows of metal shelving, loaded with loads of films, are separated by signature purple columns inside the store. Antique televisions are suspended from the ceiling, and an old Flintstone egg-making machine sits at the front door, whose glass has faded slightly over the years of welcoming eager customers to movie nights. A handwritten plate with the words “SOLD” is stuck to the front.
All of this will soon disappear as Chico’s last movie rental store, All the Best Video, closes its doors after nearly 40 years of operation.
According to owner Dan Jenks, the building on Cohasset Road was the former film rental chain’s first store and opened in 1982.
“This is my last,” Jenks said. “This is my child. First location “.
An inventory of approximately 30,000 films is in the process of being liquidated. The store will remain open for about 90 more days, Jenks said.
“I cried a lot. But that’s what it is, ”Jenks said. “Once you started the sale, I was able to accept it much better.”
They no longer rent films, but instead sell films, some memorabilia, and shop equipment.
The store was popular for its five $ 5 movies in five days.
Jenks said they even offered $ 10 80-movie packages to speed up the liquidation process.
“I don’t think we can liquidate the company in 90 days,” Jenks said.
Mike Brown, Manager, has been with All the Best Video for 24 years. He loves and knows a lot about cinema. The highlight of his work in the store was the ability to talk to customers about films.
“That was great. It was difficult to deal with them after we announced the closure. A lot of people are sad, ”Brown said. “They come here since childhood. Everyone feels that part of their childhood is dying. “
Jenks recalled seeing people queuing up, usually families, excitedly renting films and watching what was being returned.
“I just want to thank everyone who has been loyal and dedicated,” said Brown. “We will all miss our regular customers.”
Previously, All the Best Video had 22 locations.
Magalia recently closed after a fire in the camp as much of its customer base disappeared. Another Chico establishment on Walnut Street closed in 2015.
The building has been sold and will be demolished to make way for The Habit Burger Grill, Jenks said.
Jenks said the decision to sell the building and close the business was due to his deteriorating health. In January 2020, he suffered a stroke.
Jenks had to compete with streaming services and rental kiosks. But COVID-19 ultimately dealt the final blow.
Due to the pandemic, the store is working in a limited mode. It is usually open from 10 am to midnight. But since March, the store’s opening hours have been reduced to 10pm.
“My health is part of this,” Jenks said. “We’ve lost a lot of business to COVID.”
Over the years, both Brown and Jenks said that one of their favorite memories was the opportunity to attend lavish parties hosted by various film studios.
Jenks recalled attending a studio party on Fremont Street in Las Vegas for July Christmas.
“It was the best experience,” Jenks said.
Jenks said other merchandise, such as stand-ups and movie posters, will also be up for sale once he gets them out of his warehouse. Flintstone’s car that screamed “Yabba dabba doo, this egg is for you,” every time a quarter was inserted, has already been sold.
“We made an impact on people,” Jenks said. “I don’t know how many people said that when they were children, their parents put in a quarter (Flintstone machine gun) and received an egg. Little things like that warm my heart. “