Home » Redbox shuts down after its parent company files for bankruptcy

Redbox shuts down after its parent company files for bankruptcy

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Redbox and its tens of thousands of nostalgia-laden movie-rental kiosks are shutting down, officially ending a vestige of the physical-media era.

The streaming and video rental company began in 2002 and peaked in 2013, best known for its bright-red touch-screen movie-rental machines that were fixtures across the country at stores such as Walmart and CVS. But Redbox will shutter operations as its parent company, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, or CSSE, filed to liquidate under Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware bankruptcy court on Wednesday. Last month, CSSE filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reporting nearly $1 billion in debt to several media businesses and retailers, including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Walgreens.

The bankruptcy also means that the company’s more than 1,000 employees will be laid off, the Wall Street Journal reported, amid other media reports that workers didn’t receive their paychecks and had medical benefits cut in late June. HPS Investment Partners, a lender for CSSE, alleged in court filings that the company was being grossly mismanaged.

Redbox was acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2022 and became one of the company’s flagship video-on-demand streaming services. CSSE also operated its more than 20,000 DVD-rental kiosks across the country, according to court filings, as well as the video entertainment network Crackle and a Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming platform, among other TV and movie ventures. CSSE is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul LLC, publisher of the motivational book series and a pet food brand.

The once-ubiquitous movie-rental service’s end is reminiscent of Blockbuster, the rental store chain that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and closed almost all of its 9,000 stores as a result. Only one Blockbuster location remains, in Bend, Ore. CSSE and Redbox representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Netflix, before exploding in popularity as a streaming service, also started out in the DVD-rental game, mailing TV show and movie rentals in red envelopes to subscribers for 25 years before stopping the service last year.

Redbox’s website no longer shows its kiosk movie offerings — or its kiosk locations — but the company did leave consumers with a short message, posted on X a few days after the initial bankruptcy filing: “love you guys.”

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