OCONOMOWOC — With Netflix,
Redbox and online streaming quickly taking over the
entertainment industry, a store in Oconomowoc is thriving as the
market continues to advance.
Vanguard Video 2, 118 N.
Thompson St., first opened in 1991. under a different owner.
Fast forward 24 years and current owner Kay Kleinschmidt has
carved her own little niche in Oconomowoc.
How do you still have a video rental store in this day and age?
KLEINSCHMIDT: To be honest, the
rental end of it, there are so many other avenues out there now
with your own TV provider at home you can get and Redbox. Rental
is a small percentage of the business. Our buy and sell is what
we do way more in. We’ve pretty much opened it up to the
customers whether it’s their video game systems, video games,
DVDs or Blu-rays. Anything of theirs that they don’t watch or
don’t play anymore and if it still works, feel free to bring it
in. We do quote you a cash price. Sometimes people take the cash
and some trade it in for the newest games that come out.
When did Vanguard Video first open?
We originally started over on Brown Street in (the Town of)
Oconomowoc and opened there in 1991. We moved up the street in
2006. Then this year we moved right into the city of Oconomowoc.
We’ve had just a warm
welcome from the community, we’re doing great. They seem to like
that they can bring in the stuff they don’t want and get the
stuff they do want and get the stuff they’re interested in. It
has been a win-win for everybody.
How has the store changed throughout the years?
When the original owner originally started in 1991 the format
was VHS. When I took over for him in 2006 it was kind of funny
to bring back all the receipts from over the years and at a time
he paid $69.88 for one VHS tape. Back in ’91, that was the
Lets just say thank God
for technology, we’re not using those big, floppy tapes anymore
and the prices have been more affordable for middle-class
America. It has come a long way and God only knows how small of
a media device it ends up coming down to when it’s all said and
It’s been fun to watch.
Why did you decide to purchase Vanguard Video?
Obviously I was interested in it and knew the old owner and his
family. I definitely saw the potential that the store had.
Obviously opening it up to the video gaming end of it and being
able to be knowledgeable in that format, I definitely saw the
potential that there was a market for it.
I wanted to stay local.
Born and raised in Oconomowoc. Even when I moved downtown here,
I was leery. We had been out in that north end of town since
1991. It was kind of “Is this where my customer base is? Will
they follow me?” A lot of time it was “You’re right on my way
home from work. I’m coming right from work. It was easy. In and
out, grab my movie for the night and drop it off when I’m going
to work in the morning.”
The old mayor (Jim Daley)
made it really such a smooth easy process that it was really
advantageous for me to move into the city of Oconomowoc. The
regulars came in and all of a sudden you have people who were
like “You’re now closer to me.” It was kind of like “I never
knew you guys were ever out there. This is great.” So the
community has been just wonderful. I couldn’t have asked for a
better move and a better welcoming. It has been absolutely
Do you like movies?
I do, but I have one little hiccup. I like movies but I have to
say I will leave the horror genres to the young kids. Because
they pushed the envelope on that gore. To me the suspense was
all I needed. I didn’t need to see all the things they show
There is that one hiccup
when customers do come in and God bless them, ask “What do you
think of this?” And I have to decline and say that is one genre
that doesn’t interest me at all to watch. There are a few when
customers bring them back, they’ll say “I know you don’t like
the blood and guts but this one, the suspense will kill you.”
Then it’s like OK, this one I’ll watch.
Traditionally I leave that
to those young kids. They like horror. I leave it to them.
Otherwise I do like movies
but I am partial to some of the classics, which to me they are
classics but to the generation before me they’d say “That’s not
a classic yet.”
Do you have any recommendations?
I’d hate to tell you but I’d probably have to say my favorite
movie and it’s probably more sentimental because I can remember
as a kid when my parents got their first VHS player and I think
we got “White Christmas” as a tape with the player. I would
watch that over and over.
Over the years I think
even my children have grown to like it. They used to say “Why
does Mom make us watch this?” It strikes a chord. It’s very
A lot of the stuff I like
I can just remember watching with family. Now even with my kids,
I have six children of my own, and it’s like I laugh at all the
kids and I say, “Remember when you used to watch,” and it’s some
kid movie that they begged me to buy them, and I’m like “You’re
going to get it one day.” You’ll remember and you’ll go back to
it, and they all have a copy of it and they think it’s one of
It takes you to a fun time
or a happy memory. Whatever it might be. They just don’t make
them like that anymore.
What’s one thing you’d like everybody to know about Vanguard
: Check us out. We carry all the new releases that come out.
Every Tuesday the DVDs that come out for rent are released and
we always have those. We also go way back though, so don’t
hesitate. There might be something in your past that you haven’t
seen in a long time. We have a wide selection of DVDs, Blurays,
Just a huge selection so come in and check us out.