“We were struggling to pay the rent as it was already,” Maddux says. “I was in this place where I didn’t know what to do. I felt all these opposing forces—people I owed money to, the community wanted it to stay in business, the banker was just telling me to close it and sell it off. So that’s when I went to Alaska for a month, where nobody could serve me papers, to think about it.”
She hit on the idea of selling the business—for one dollar—to part-time Crystal Video employee Tim Huffman, who in buying the video store would take on some of the debt still owed to the owner who preceded Maddux.
“That way, I figured, [the business] could continue to exist, and most people would be content. Then Tim found a different location that was dramatically cheaper, and that was it.”
“I think it’s good for people to know why the sale happened,” Maddux continues. “Tim and I tried to come up with an arrangement that would keep it in the community. He laid out a bunch of his own money to move the location and I took a huge financial hit. People said Crystal Video was really important to them.”
Apparently: According to an informal survey mounted by new owner Huffman, most of Crystal Video’s rentals are to customers living in “easy biking or walking” range—he figures about a mile radius. Huffman says he’s committed to expanding the selection, replacing lost and damaged titles, and, in his own words:
“I still want the Crystal to be the place that has that one obscure movie you can’t get anywhere else in town.”