Be kind, rewind
Vanguard Video 2 offers video rental, game and video trade-in

By Eric Oliver - Enterprise Staff

Aug. 13, 2015

Vanguard Video 2, 118 N. Thompson St., Suite 8, offers a movie rental service as well as a buy, sell and trade-in service. 
Eric Oliver/Enterprise Staff

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.

ENTERPRISE: How do you still have a video rental store in this day and age?

KAY 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.

ENTERPRISE: When did Vanguard Video first open?

KLEINSCHMIDT: 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.

ENTERPRISE: How has the store changed throughout the years?

KLEINSCHMIDT 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 format.

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 done.

It’s been fun to watch.

ENTERPRISE: Why did you decide to purchase Vanguard Video?

KLEINSCHMIDT: 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 wonderful.

ENTERPRISE: Do you like movies?

KLEINSCHMIDT: 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 nowadays.

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.”

ENTERPRISE: Do you have any recommendations?

KLEINSCHMIDT: 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 sentimental there.

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 their favorites.

It takes you to a fun time or a happy memory. Whatever it might be. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

ENTERPRISE: What’s one thing you’d like everybody to know about Vanguard Video 2?

KLEINSCHMIDT : 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.