VisArt Video employees seek investors in order to stay in business


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The last place in Charlotte where you can actually rent VHS tapes (and DVDs as well) hopes to keep its doors open and is looking for help.

VisArt Video, an Elizabeth staple, may close if its employees can't buy it from owner Andrea Kubachko. According to Twiggy Cerniglia, the store's manager, Kubachko, who is based out of Durham, is closing the other VisArt store in Carrboro and will do the same in Charlotte if the employees can't come up with the funds to buy the store.

"She's closing the warehouse and the Carrboro store next year. She has offered to sell us, the employees, the store, and we are trying everything we possibly can right now to buy the store from her. We have all basically committed to keeping this place open," said Cerniglia. "We've got a benefit show coming up Nov. 3rd at Neighborhood Theatre. We're going to do a screening of Prince Achmed, which is the oldest animated movie in existence. We have a 10-piece orchestra called Great Architects who will be playing the score while the movie is playing."

Cerniglia said the employees are building a website and will be asking for donations from the community to keep VisArt around. Because, she added, while chain stores like Hollywood Video and Blockbuster have closed, VisArt is getting new members and business has picked up. The store has always been cheaper than the larger video stores and is more than just a place to rent movies, she said.

"This store is very sustainable on its own," Cerniglia said. "Right now is a terrible time to close because we're doing so well. We haven't raised our prices in like forever and with Red Box, you only have a few dozen movies. We specialize in stuff that is not available through Red Box and Netflix. If Charlotte wants us to stay open, now is the time to come forward and help us out with it."


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