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Rain City Video closes after 29 years in Ballard

Ana Marbett, Online Editor
Originally published June 19, 2017

Jake RehfeldtSign on the front of Rain City Video thanking the neighborhood.

Jake Rehfeldt

Sign on the front of Rain City Video thanking the neighborhood.

On April 28 Rain City Video, one of Ballard’s last video stores, had its final liquidation sale after being at the location since 1988. The video store was considered a staple of the Ballard community by many.

“I’ve been going to Rain City [Video] for my whole life and I have rented countless movies,” Sophomore Jane Christopherson said. “They have such a wide variety so I got to see a lot of movies that I wouldn’t normally been able to see anywhere else.”

Rain City Video was located on the corner of 32nd avenue and 65th street in Sunset Hill and was a popular destination for many families.

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people in the community,” Manager Zoe Vrieling said. “It’s part of the reason we’ve been able to stay open for so long.”

The community will miss Rain City Video because not only was it a video store, it was also a place to meet people and socialize.

“A lot of people went there and you could run into a lot of different people,” Christopherson said. “It’s just something to bond over and sharing movies is really fun but also you learn a lot when you watch different movies.”

Having a varied collection of movies and shows made the store a popular destination for many because the movies gave insight and new understandings for young people. Lots of movies from the 70s and 80s are difficult to find, and Rain City Video provided a way for parents to show their kids part of their lives.

“I know that in my life it’s taken a hit because I won’t be able to see a lot of the old stuff that I could find at Rain City,” Christopherson said. “My parents have raised me seeing a lot of the movies that they saw when they grew up and thanks to Rain City I was able to see a lot of those movies.”

There are under 6,000 video stores left in the nation and that number is shrinking due to the digitization of media. That is the direction Rain City is heading towards. They are keeping a large portion of their inventory to be available online. But regardless of this, Rain City Video will be missed dearly by the community.

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Rain City Video closes after 29 years in Ballard