Final viewing for Drive In Movie Store
Signs in the windows at the venerable Drive In Movie Store at 170 S. Broadway announced its final sale and impending closure late last week.
It’s been 11 months since owner Dawn Warfield told The Saratogian that customers could count on the store’s continued operation for at least two more years, despite growing competition from Internet and mail-order rental services and big-name chain stores.
Warfield said Sunday that business, unfortunately but not surprisingly, had finally succumbed to the competition brought on by the digital age.
“We’re like the phone book — who uses the phone book anymore?” she said. “A lot of things are becoming obsolete and, unfortunately, video stores are one of them.” (Newspapers are another, she noted during the course of our conversation.)
The Drive In enjoyed a longevity that many independently owned Spa City businesses never attain, celebrating its 18th year in business last July. Warfield has diversified her offerings to cope with a faltering economy in recent years, enduring in the same location while other shops on the South Broadway strip folded around her.
“When Hollywood Video closed (in March), we thought we’d get their business,” Warfield said. “We did get a lot of their customers, but at the same time we’re still losing so many of our customers to Netflix, and the rents on Broadway, even where I am on South Broadway, are so expensive, so it was time to get out.”
The store is known for being a friendly spot with a following of customers who regularly come in to chat and pick up lottery tickets and fresh popcorn. T-shirts and other merchandise are available, in addition to video games and more than 20,000 DVD titles in many special interest categories.
A liquidation sale is under way and the store’s last day of operation is expected to be June 15.