Movie Gallery Closing 520 Stores

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Movie Gallery Inc., the nation's Number two video rental chain, said it would close about 520 stores to save money and cut costs.

The move comes as the Dothan-based company struggles to pay debt.

The company said it was closing underperforming and unprofitable stores that operate under the Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video names.

Movie Gallery stock rose about 7 cents, or nearly 14 percent, to 58 cents a share in afternoon Nasdaq trading. Prices have ranged from 25 cents a share to $5.29 a share over the last year.

A spokeswoman said liquidation sales will begin Thursday at Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores nationwide. The closings are scattered across the country, but the number of jobs affected was not disclosed.

Movie Gallery reported losing 14.9 million dollars in the first quarter compared to a profit of 40.3 million dollars during the same period last year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)