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Broadway’s Hollywood Video shuts down in a hurry – UPDATE

Broadway retail had another hole poked in the middle of it tonight as, under the cover of darkness, employees scrambled to gut the Hollywood Video next to Dick’s Burgers and directly across the street from the empty lot where Sound Transit’s light rail station construction is soon to begin.

A sign on the door said the location is permanently closing and directed customers to the next closest Hollywood Video in Magnolia. Despite the sign, a customer tried the locked door before dropping his movie in the return slot. He said he had just joined Hollywood’s monthly movie plan.

UPDATE: Adding some information about the building itself, the $2.8 million, three-story brick building was built in 1929 and is owned by Ron and Edel Amundson, according to King County records. It is also home to online provider of phonics-based spelling lessons, Headsprout and a company called Antique Cycle Northwest. From the Department of Neighborhoods:

Historic Name:      Del-Teet Furniture      Common Name:      Hollywood Video

Style:     Commercial     Neighborhood:     Capitol Hill

Built By:     Frederick Anhalt     Year Built:     1929

Significance

In the opinion of the survey, this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.

This building was constructed in 1929 as the Del-Teet Furniture Store. Cyrus Teeter, who had a Denver store with a Dr. Delaney, identified this location as one of the busiest in Seattle and thus suitable for his second store. In the 1950s the store gained renown as the first to introduce modern furniture to go with new post-war housing styles. This was the first of several major furniture stores that opened on Broadway, earning it the name Furniture Row during the 1950s-60s. Del-Teet remained open at this location in to the 1990s. The building was designed by Frederick Anhalt, who was best known as a developer of French Norman and Tudor-inspired apartment buildings, particularly on Capitol Hill. His influence is evident in the arched windows on all three floors. Although Anhalt built several one-story neighborhood commercial buildings, this is his only building of this type–a three-story freestanding commercial structure.

Appearance

This three-story red brick building has a stepped parapet and arched windows on all three floors, including the street-level display windows. The storefront has a high degree of integrity, with wood-and-glass doors. The second floor projects over the first floor, supported by six square wood columns. Although the upper floor windows have a modern look, they are original. The building’s only ornament is brick sills and arches around the windows and simple decorative brick insets below the cornice line.

The Broadway Hollywood Video is was one of ten locations still operating in Seattle for the troubled chain operated by Oregon-based Movie Gallery, Inc. The company has faced mounting pressure as industry leader Blockbuster has cut prices and invested in the online space to try to keep pace with services like Netflix. On Monday, Movie Gallery announced it was releasing its new iPhone app, DidjaC. The Blockbuster just down Broadway near Pine remains. The indie Broadway Video also continues to offer brick and mortar rentals in the area as do On 15th Video and Video Connection in other parts of the Hill.

On the corporate chain watch, another Pacific Northwest corporation shut down its Capitol Hill outlet this week with the closure of Taco Time on Madison. Meanwhile, Starbucks opens its latest new-concept cafe with Roy Street Coffee and Tea serving its first cups Wednesday morning at 6 AM.

Update: We’ve left calls for everybody involved with Hollywood and Movie Gallery that we can find on the Internet. Will update when and if we hear back.

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19 thoughts on “Broadway’s Hollywood Video shuts down in a hurry – UPDATE

  1. but it makes sense. The model of the brick and mortar video rental place is dead, specially for these national chains. Blockbuster is struggling hard as it is!

    Unless we’re talking about an indie place, that offers some kind of catered selection to a particular niche local market, I see no reason to keep these rental places around.

  2. … good reporting … for years the AIDS Foundation was on the upper floors of this building … they fixed the space up a lot, very cramped for that org, but, prime Bwy. location … moved maybe 9 years ago or so after merger with Chicken Soup, into CS space on Union …

  3. I went by there around five last night .. the gal out front smoking told me they received the happy news that they were all out of work just that morning. They crated up all the DVDs and then they were unemployed.

  4. I agree–and especially based on MC’s comments below, not a classy way to treat your employees at all. Wish them the best of luck finding a new job quickly.

    However, I generally hate going to the video store. Walking up and down the aisle, searching for some movie that will satisfy all of us who want to view it. If it’s popular, it’s probably checked out. If it’s obscure, they don’t carry it. Prices are nuts, especially when I am already paying for cable or satellite, and then I have to remember to return the darn thing. I’ll stick with Netflix and Hulu, thanks.

  5. http://www.videobusiness.com/index.asp?layout=talkbackCommen

    Read the comments on that article, its happening all over the country to to Hollywood/Movie Gallery, what they are doing is pretty evil, not paying rent for months on end, taking money from customers for monthly plans and then closing. They are clearing out stores as fast as they can as some landlords have called the police to have the stores chained up to make sure Hollywood can’t remove all their stuff as they owe months worth of rent.

    I personally love indy rental stores, I just can’t give my money to a corporation like netflix or redbox (which is a whole different kind of evil)

  6. I loved this place. I can’t do netflix because I have to browse to see what I’m in the mood for. I don’t like Broadway video because the intense subdividing by director etc makes it not browse friendly. Also the 3 day limit makes it difficult. Hollywood was on my way to everything. Most of all I liked the space, kinda beat, not overly lit. The employees were friendly and I used to get recommendations from them. I spent a lot of time browsing there. I liked the big space too. I’m really gonna miss it. The whole kiosk, netflix thing ain’t for me and I don’t have cable or anything. I like to watch a lot of movies but that’s going to change. Everything I liked about Capitol Hill is going away……

  7. Try On 15th Video. The store is small but the selection is outstanding. A few of the employees can be aloof (the tall one especially) but they all know their stuff and will recommend movies if you ask. Plus 7 day rentals. Yay!

  8. I used to belong to that Hollywood’s MVP plan for years. I liked the space, very large, you could roam for a while taking in all the visual covers of various genre history . . . I have to say, also after having turned off cable over a year ago, the physical media format is dead. Now I have the cheapest Netflix for under 10 bucks a month and they have a huge selection which you can watch instantly through your xbox 360 or ps3 or computer. And a great selection available instantly – docs, indie flicks, etc. You also get one dvd with that but I haven’t watched it yet – it takes so long to get the disc out and put it in ha ha. Everything is DL today. So long, Broadway Hollywood. –ubikhead.com

  9. I refuse to drive to Magnolia (6 miles away) to return the DVDs I rented at the now closed Wallingford location. I called 877 325-8687 and requested that they send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope and I would mail the videos to them. If they don’t send the envelope, I’ll just keep the DVDs.

  10. According to the employees at one of the other Hollywoods left, the company doesn’t expect you to have to return your movies if it’s out of the way. According to any of the stores, if you can’t return them, you won’t be charged or sent to collections. The company writes it off as a loss.

    As for the monthly program, there’s a specialized number that the stores have to give to you to call to get a refund on your points or whatever they’re called.

    When I went into one of the stores, they had taken an employee from the closed store. Apparently its up to the employees to decide if they want a job at another location – the offer was there but not everyone wanted to drive 5 miles to keep their job. So not everyone suddenly became unemployed – if they didn’t want to drive farther to another store in the area, then that was their choice. but they were offered positions elsewhere.