What is believed to be the last independent movie-rental business in central Ohio is closing its cash register for good April 30.
Video Central, a nearly 30-year staple in northwest Columbus, will spend the next month liquidating its inventory, owner Hannah Groah said.
That includes 18,000 DVDs and Blu-ray discs, posters and anything else of value.
Groah said she was told by her landlord April 5 that she had 30 days to clear out the store at 1299 Bethel Road.
"It's not bad business, it's just business," said Groah, who has owned the store since 2014. "It's unfortunate."
It is more than just the demise of an independent store in central Ohio, Groah said, it is the end of an era in movie rentals, as customers nationwide and internationally sign up for streaming-services such as Netflix and Hulu.
But Groah said there is a catch, particularly as it pertains to streaming services.
She said the movie inventory isn't nearly as deep as that of Video Central's, certainly not the level of campy classics, horror, documentaries, cult and foreign films.
Streaming services and some cable-movie providers rely on original programming, not motion pictures, and consistently are dumping movies from their programming lists, Groah said.
"They don't care about movies like we care about movies," she said.
Video Central generally got first releases six to nine weeks before Redbox and Netflix, depending on the distributor, Groah said.
That's why she has been able to keep her doors open while stiff competition has mounted. In other words, people still have DVD players and stacks of DVDs, she said.
Groah said she does have some popular original programming from cable networks, but the selection isn't very large.
A self-described movie fanatic, Groah has worked at Video Central for about 10 years.
She hired her brother, Max Groah, about five years ago.
He is now manager -- a job he loves.
"You get to watch movies and talk about movies all day," Max Groah said.
Both were raised in Clintonville.
Max Groah said the customer base spreads far and wide, but the core group of patrons lives in the neighborhood.
"It's this spot," he said of the store's success.
"Being anything for 30 years is going to be a big draw."
Both Groahs said they're ready to move on from the business.
Hannah Groah, 30, an Ohio University graduate with a degree in journalism, said she isn't quite certain of her next step, but is entertaining options.
Max Groah, 36, is co-founder of Backward Slate Productions, where he serves as director, producer and writer.
He recently released "Bong of the Living Dead," which is on a national film-festival circuit.
Hannah Groah said she has no plans to relocate Video Central.
"We'd rather go out on top instead of going to a new location and peter out," she said.