New video store opens on Route 7 South in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — She’s not quite 28 years old, but Jessica Pominville has been working in the movie business for around a decade — the movie rental business.
She managed three Blockbuster Video stores in Burlington, a Hollywood Video store, and a Movie Gallery outlet. For the past three years she’s been working at Video King on Washington Street in Middlebury.
When Video King owner Terry Pellegrino decided to close his doors earlier this year, Pominville saw an opportunity.
“I decided to crank his numbers and realized there was still enough demand out there,” she said. “There are still customers, it was the rent that was killing him.
“Once I found the location on Route 7, I decided to open up.”
And thus was born Video Queen. The new video rental store is located at 1396 Route 7 South in Middlebury, the former home of Dr. Don Hunt’s veterinary clinic in the same strip of businesses with Distinctive Paint and Interiors, Middlebury Sew-N-Vac and Paris Farmers Union.
Pominville currently stocks about 3,600 titles. About 1,000 of those films are ones she has gathered for her own collection over the past 20 years. But she knows that many video rental customers are looking for new releases, so she’s got many of those. There is a mix of traditional DVDs, Blu-Ray format and even some old VHS tapes — “I’ve already rented six (VHS tapes),” Pominville said early this week.
One unique aspect of the store that Pominville is proud of is the “living room” set up that features a comfy couch and TV for viewing. This is a place for people to come and simply watch movies without the pressure to buy something.
“I’m going to do a weekly family day where I’ll show a movie and offer free popcorn,” Pominville said. “I also plan to do a monthly teen movie night …  I know that there’s not always a lot for teens to do.”
Pominville has lived in Middlebury the past four and a half years, but her association with the area goes back much further. Her father, Jon Pominville, grew up here and left town to pursue a career in the military. Jessica moved around a lot as a child, and one of those places she lived for a year was in Middlebury, when she was 13 and 14.
All of Jessica’s father’s side of the family lives in Middlebury, and she has a particularly strong respect for her late grandfather, Richard Pominville.
“He’s the reason I’m so proud of the name,” Jessica Pominville said. “I considered calling the store Pominville Video because of him.”
But she also likes the association of the name Video Queen with the former Video King store.
“The regular customers there knew me,” she said of her former place of employment. “It would be a great way to continue the association and trust we developed.”
Pominville is excited for word to get out and connect with more and more people who share her passion.
“I love movies, I’m doing this because this is what I love,” she said. “Success would mean that the community embraced the store and shows as much love as I do.”
To rent new movies, Video Queen charges $5 for Blu-Ray discs and $4 for DVDs; for older titles it is $4 and $3, respectively. A VHS rental is $3.
Video Queen is open Monday-Thursday, 3:30-7:30 p.m.; Friday, 3:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, noon-9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-7:30 p.m. The phone number is 802-989-5564.

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