South Dakota’s last video rental store set to close

The closure of the store will mean that there are no more video rental stores in the Rushmore state.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. - For 16 years, Movie Mania has been a hub for people in the region to rent their favorite movies, video games, and get a snack or two to go along with it. All in person.

But Friday, March 31st, that will no longer be the case.

Nancy Hiller owns the store with her husband, Steven.

“It was February 9th, 2007 that we announced that we opened,” Hiller recalls. “And then we announced that we were closing February 9th of this year.”

Nancy Hiller, along with her family, opened the store with a loan from a local bank, and a few thousand movies from their own personal collection get the business off the ground.

To this day, they’ve never collected a paycheck from the store, running it largely in their spare time. Both Nancy and her husband work separate, full-time jobs in state government. On the days where neither of them can cover a shift, typically a family member will step in to cover for them.

At the time of opening the store, streaming services like Netflix were just ramping up, sending movies for viewing through the mail.

Pierre had three other video rental stores to boot.

“More and more companies started streaming, people would rather stream at home then get their movies out and shop.”

Those other stores eventually closed. As of 2019, Movie Mania was the last video rental store left standing in South Dakota.

The Hiller family successfully added clothing merchandise and other items to sell in the store that they felt were a need in Pierre to keep up with the times, and the demand.

But ultimately, they felt it was time to bring a close to this dream. A dream that has spent over a decade and a half living in a strip mall just down the road from Walmart.

“It is sad, it is sad because I will miss this store so much,” Hiller said, through tears. “It is a passion of mine, that is why we kept it open for so long. If it was up to my husband, we would have gotten out three years into it.”

But not all is sad for Nancy. The closure of the store means more free time to pursue hobbies and spend time with family.

“Being able to go fishing once in a while, go out of town for vacation, be with family more.... These are all things people take for granted and we now get to do them. So many people do have to work two jobs to survive in this world. We are just grateful that we get to slow down now, and not work all the time.”