Milton-Freewater Hollywood Video to close

The store is closing as part of a bankruptcy reorganization by parent company Movie Gallery Inc., according to the corporation's Web site.

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MILTON-FREEWATER -- It's a wrap for Hollywood Video.

The video rental operation on Columbia Avenue is closing its doors as part of a bankruptcy reorganization by parent company Movie Gallery Inc., according to the corporation's Web site.

The local store is one of about 760 Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores across the country slated for immediate closure through the company's restructuring process.

"We are closing these because they are not profitable and because funds from liquidating them can help us moving forward," the company said on its Web site.

Details of the liquidation plan were not available this morning and likely will not be. A local operator at the Milton-Freewater store said he could not comment on the liquidation process, including when the doors at 21 N. Columbia Ave. will close for good. According to a voice mail message on Movie Gallery's media line the company is remaining quiet about the restructuring.

"As a matter of company policy Movie Gallery is, for the most part, not responding to media inquiries in connection with this issue," a recording explains. The message invites media to leave contact information but also says if a telephone call is not returned within 24 hours that media can report the company could not be reached for comment.

Hollywood Video premiered in Milton-Freewater in 2003.

The company was subsequently purchased by Wilsonville corporation Movie Gallery Inc.

Movie Gallery and all of its subsidiaries -- with the exception of its Canadian operations -- filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions "to address the company's capital structure and reorganize its business operations," the company said.

After the closure of the initial roughly 760 stores, the company will operate 1,906 stores in the U.S. That includes 1,111 Movie Gallery, 545 Hollywood Video and 250 Game Crazy locations. More store closures are expected during the Chapter 11 reorganization process.

Company officials in their announcement said the decision to file for bankruptcy reorganization was due to "economic and competitive realities facing" the company.

Over the past two years, Movie Gallery closed several hundred underperforming stores to better position itself in an increasingly competitive market. Those closures were not sufficient, the company has since determined.

"Movie Gallery's goal is to emerge from the restructuring process with a new and sustainable business model centered on a smaller base of profitable stores," according to the posting.

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