Redbox movie kiosk disappears in Old Fort

Old Fort’s only way of renting movies was removed from outside the Dollar General earlier in April.

Old Fort’s movie rental options have narrowed even more.

With the closing of Flick Video in March, Old Fort residents could rely on Redbox for movie rentals, but now the kiosk located outside of Dollar General is gone.

Dollar General Manager Shelly Ricketts told The McDowell News the store received no advance warning that the kiosk would be removed. A representative from Redbox showed up and started emptying the inventory a couple of weeks ago. She said the store had no connection with the company other than the space rental.

“He (the representative) said Redbox had told him that this site was not making them enough money so they had to take it out,” Ricketts said. “I was just shocked and told him that Flick had just shut down and this was the only place to get movies in Old Fort, but he just said he was doing what he was told from corporate.”

Ricketts said the next day the actual box was removed from the outdoor sidewalk in front of the store.

“Three or four times a day people call or ask about where the Redbox went, and there was always somebody out there. It was a busy little spot,” Ricketts said.

She said her customers have expressed disappointment when they find out the news about the movie dispensary, and upset they will have to drive to Marion or Black Mountain to rent a movie.

The McDowell News reviewed the permits issued to Redbox from Town Hall in Old Fort, and found the company has been paying a permit fee for another location, Family Dollar, for the past two years, but never put a kiosk at that location.

The McDowell News tried contacting Redbox by telephone, but was instructed to submit comments or questions through email. After asking why the kiosk was moved from Dollar General and one never put at Family Dollar, this was the email response from Brenda at Redbox Customer Care:

“Thank you for taking the time to email. I'm really sorry to hear that one of your favorite Redbox kiosks was moved. When a kiosk changes spots, it’s often because it wasn’t meeting business demands, the retailer or city asked that it be moved, or it was needed elsewhere in the area. Unfortunately, we can’t provide you with the specific reason why the kiosk near you was moved.”

Old Fort resident and native Vicky Robinson said she will not be travelling to Marion or Black Mountain to rent movies.

“I had an account at Flick and I heard they weren’t doing enough business, so they closed out, and now Redbox closes out,” said Robinson. “I don’t think we should have to drive to Marion to rent a movie if we want to. I have been getting calls from Netflix and Charter offering special deals on movie channels, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not.”

Some folks in Old Fort have a different opinion and have already been getting their movies elsewhere.

“I buy my movies if in case I want to watch them again or it’s something I really like,” said Old Fort resident Thomas Reed, who says he owns hundreds of movies, “It costs too much to rent movies for a day or two. I’d rather pay $10 and have the movie forever.”

Another Old Fort resident, Dionna Roberts, said she has been using Netflix for about a year and pays $14 a month for unlimited movies.

“It’s easier. I can just click it at home and stream the movie instantly,” said Roberts. “I can watch any movie I want to anytime I want to.”