70,000 movies must find a new home

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SAN DIEGO - The family-owned Kensington Video store will close its doors for good early next year, and the question on the minds of many movie buffs is, what will happen to the store's massive collection of videos?

The store has been in business off of Adams Avenue in Kensington for more than 30 years, but the owners say it will close its doors for good in February 2015.

"The reason that [we're closing] is we're tired and my parents are in their late 80s. They want to retire. My sister has grandchildren that she wants to enjoy," said Guy Hanford, who co-owns the video store along with his parents.

Hanford's true love of movies and television prompted the family to launch the shop long before Blockbuster video rental stores proliferated.

"My goal was to make this a movie archive. We wanted this to be the place that people who really loved movies, silent movies, classic movies, foreign films - the place they'd come," Hanford said.

Hanford bought all 70,000 titles in his store over the last three decades. He acknowledged technology has slowed business, but said his loyal customers know they can find collector's items at the store that they cannot find online.

He also said his film collection continues to grow to this day, with an additional 10,000 to 15,000 films hiding in the back room. He hopes a local university like San Diego State University will pick up his estimated $400-$500K film collection.

"Otherwise, if it doesn't [go to a university], I will be selling a lot of it off. Some things I will not sell, and I will have a warehouse. I'm going to create an online rental and sales," Hanford said.

While Hanford and the rest of his family appear to be in good spirits, the idea of closing the store haunts Hanford every night.

"It's been hard and I have thought every single night how I might be able to carry it on, just myself," Hanford said.

The store's loyal customers are also dealing with great sadness after hearing the news.

"We share a lot more than just movies. A lot of people share even their personal live with us. We've bonded. We had a friendship," Hanford said.

1 Comment

  • Amanda Gemma

    I have been a client for years and years. I consider Guy a good friend. Someone that i would always want to be connected with. I care for that family. I met a boyfriend there. I met Tim Sprague there and ended up doing a public access show with him for awhile. We got all of our movie reference from there. So many life memories. I will miss them greatly. So goes the small business owners. .sad

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