Article Written by Jens Mikkelsen. Photo by Jens Mikkelsen. 

On the corner of 6th Ave S, sandwiched between a tanning salon and Toppers Pizza, sits the last video rental store in Saint Cloud.

Simply titled “Movies”, the store, that once spanned the space of its neighboring businesses, is now just one small room filled with DVDs, Blue-rays, and VHS tapes.

Although 22 years ago it may have been the main attraction, Movies has become a small extension of Malibu Tan, sharing both the building and the owner of the tanning salon next door.

Despite its smaller size and reduced inventory, and despite the near extinction of old school video rental places, this store still has its fair share of loyal customers.

According to General Manager, Lia Challberg, there are around a dozen people who rent from the store on a regular basis. “We have good subscription plans, where you can get five out at a time for like ten bucks a month unlimited.”

When asked about regulars, store employee Ashlyn Ditschler said “We have people who come in once a week on Tuesdays or come in on Saturdays and then return their movies and rent more.”

Other customers include senior citizens, college students–especially film majors and even a group of brothers from Princeton, MN, who drive up every Sunday to revel in nostalgia.

But it’s not just warm feelings for a time long gone that continue to draw people in over Netflix. Movies also has a collection of titles that may be more difficult to come across on regular streaming services. Old westerns, foreign films, and Troma movies are all popular picks for people who are looking for something a bit different. They even used to buy old films off of customers for 25 cents, although, as of now, they are not accepting any new inventory.

“I think that a GOB (going out of business) sale isn’t in the near future, but probably within a year or two” Challberg said, “We’re just trying to move what inventory we already have and get the most amount of money we can for what we spent on it.”

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