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  • Writer's pictureChris McHugh

Family Video Founder Remembered | The History of Family Video

Updated: May 1, 2022

A very sad day. My thoughts and prayers go out to Charlie Hoogland’s family. Charlie was a visionary whose hard work and creativity made all of our lives a much happier and entertaining place. He had the foresight to change his business entirely. You see, he had been in the appliance business. But he saw the writing on the wall. The larger appliance chains were nipping at his heels. He knew his business, Midstates Appliance & Supply Company, in my hometown of Springfield, Illinois wouldn’t last forever. So Charlie changed gears. He jumped on the VHS rental bandwagon. But it wasn’t as simple as that. Charlie was a wise man and didn’t start the video store chain to become the video store king. No. He knew that video stores were a fad. The real move was to purchase real estate. Commercial real estate that could be utilized for any type of business.

The move paid off. Years later, as rental business revenue declined across the United States, companies like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were locked into expensive leases. The noose got tighter around their necks and they were forced to close stores, one by one. But Charlie owned his property. Even to this day, Family Video is the largest, and only, video store chain in the United States.

He created a wonderful place, splashed with green and orange colors. A place where so many movie geeks worked, and so many people came to experience the pleasure of motion pictures–one VHS tape, one DVD and one Blu-ray at a time.

Charlie, thank you for all that you did for all of us. You will be missed, but your vision and our memories of what you created will last forever. We’ll see you on the other side.


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