Donna Leach came in to Video Tymes on Wednesday and bought two VHS classics — "The Mask" and "Rambo" — for $2.
Although most customers would be drawn to the racks of DVDs and Blu-rays on sale, she opted for the old format.
After all, she said, new technology is what's putting the family-run Stewartstown store out of business.
"I'm sad. We enjoy it. Technology is what's doing it to them," said Leach, of Hopewell Township.
The video store's owners, Andy and Catherine Surguy, decided last week that after 22 years in business, it was time to shut down, Andy Surguy said.
"There's been plenty of customers that still come in," he said. "They're just sad."
The store — one of the last of its kind in York County — will be open to customers through March, with all items on sale in the meantime.
"All these years in business, there's still thousands of things," he said.
Southern roots: Surguy has closed up shop before at two of his other locations.
The first was in New Freedom for one year before moving to Shrewsbury, he said. Then, the Surguys opened the Stewartstown store before opening another spot in Glen Rock.
With the other two locations shutting down years before, the small Stewartstown store is the longest-lasting and most successful, he said.
"The customers, they keep you here," he said. "A lot of these people have been coming here forever."
When the store opened, there were 15 movie stores in the southern end of the county, Surguy said. At the time, they were mostly small businesses.
"The major stores came later," he said.
Downward trend: Surguy said he reassessed the business at the end of each quarter of the year. Although he saw a downward trend in recent years, November through February was always a period of higher sales, he said.
The decline in business started with DVDs and continued with subscription services and Netflix, he said. It became less expensive to watch new movies without leaving the comfort of home, so people were less enticed to go out and rent from the store, he said.
"There are trends in everything," Surguy said. "You can't fight those trends."
When this winter's numbers weren't great, he made the decision he didn't want to make. The first couple of days after deciding to shut down were especially tough, he said.
He and his wife live in New Freedom. She works other jobs. And after his high-school-age employees went off to college a few years ago, he began to run the business on his own.
Surguy, 55, said he likes interacting with people and will find something else to do.
"I can't see myself going from all of this to doing nothing," he said.
The people: Many customers have been in since the store's announcement, Surguy said.
"People keep you in business," he said. "We've got lots of good customers."
When Brita Booth of New Park would bring her 13-year-old daughter — who's now 27 — the store would always be crowded on weekends, she said.
"They would hold a movie for you if it had just come out," she said. "It's such a shame to see it go."
And Brandy Shaffer of Stewartstown said Surguy's service was unmatched: She could be 10 cents short, and he would let it slide.
"He's very good to local people. He knows — he's been here a long time," she said.
Now, in order to watch movies, Shaffer will have to go online or to a chain store that doesn't care, she said.
"It's someone who really cared and put the time and effort into it," she said. "It's just sad that he has to compete with a machine."
From the customers to the employees, Surguy said he could never have done it all himself.
"I don't know how to thank everybody," he said.
Movie, video game deals: Video Tymes is putting all its items on sale as it prepares to shut down March 31. The following, as well as signs and other equipment, are marked down:
VHS tapes: $1
Older DVDs: $2.99
Newer DVDs: $7.99
Video games for Nintendo Gamecube, Wii, Xbox360 and Playstation2: Prices vary.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org