Streaming video and Redbox have largely conquered a market that used to belong to video rental stores. But Louisa’s Movie House in Durango has survived, and it is planning a move to Town Plaza the first week in March.
The other side of the store, Louisa’s Electronics, meanwhile, is moving to a building under construction on the corner of 22nd Street and Main Avenue that will be finished in the summer.
Despite the demise of most Hollywood Video and Blockbuster locations, Louisa’s co-owner Ericka Curlee believes video-rental stores still have a bit of an edge because of the higher quality that DVDs and Blu-Rays offer.
“Between the human experience and better quality, the independent movie stores have the advantage over streaming,” she said.
The move will bring the rental store into an area with higher pedestrian traffic, and management is also taking the opportunity to refresh its collection by getting rid of 400 titles to make room for more new releases
“A lot of times we’ll have new releases before Netflix and Redbox,” she said.
The broadband Internet limitations around Durango have also created a demand for video rentals and satellite dishes, which the company also sells.
From Curlee’s experience, it’s not uncommon for some customers who plan on building a new home to be caught off guard by rural service.
“They go and buy a beautiful piece of land, and they have a fantastic mountain view, and there is no Internet service, and they are very surprised,” she said.
For these people, satellite television and Internet service are their main options.
Louisa’s also works with homeowners on home-automation systems that can include surveillance, lighting and electrical, irrigation and entertainment systems that can be controlled by universal remote.
Home automation can integrate all these systems or just a few.
“Home automation is a pretty quickly growing piece of consumer electronics,” she said.
But retail sales of TVs and sound systems are still a core piece of Louisa’s business, and that’s what you’ll find on the first floor of the new building.
Above the street-level retail space, the company is building two residential units that it plans to sell, Curlee said.
“There is a surplus I think of office space and perhaps a little more demand for residential,” she said.