Home > Cool Links, JoeRants > First, they came for the video stores…

First, they came for the video stores…

March 29, 2012

WOW, it’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been finishing up a few projects and not letting myself do anything else but those things, but now that they are (nearly) complete, I can get back to posting!

This post feels like a spiritual brother to the death of the small town cinema post from a little while back… I wanted to link to this article, which is a pretty fantastic review of what the video store used to be to a young film watcher/filmmaker. I remember finding a great store in Long Beach, CA and how awesome it was to dig through and find some weird movie that I’d heard of somewhere but no one else could tell me even existed.

Even more, I remember the earliest days of VCRs. What a crazy invention. I posted before about trying to create my own VCR with an audio tape recorder and a coax connection (spoiler alert: it didn’t work), but I also remember when my dad’s office got a VCR. They used it to make backups of their computer hard drive (people used to do that), and he let us bring it home on the weekends. The idea of watching Star Wars at home was a defining moment. You mean I can watch any Woody Allen movie, any time I want? I just have to rent it?

This is from a guy who had audio recorded Superman: the Movie on audio tape and would listen to it on a Radio Shack earphone while doing my paper route. I was crazy into movies. And the idea of OWNING a movie was like owning the moon.

Renting was another big deal – the first video store in town was a membership store, and it was about $50 to join (in 1980s dollars). It didn’t take too long for other stores to open (though to a 10 year kid, it was SOOO long), so the member fee dropped pretty quickly, but I remember that it was like walking into a magical place – this store had MOVIES.

It used to be an EVENT when they would show a movie I wanted to see on TV. Planet of the Apes week on channel 45 was AWESOME, and so was when Channel 19 and WTUE radio simulcast 2001 in stereo. Man, that was cool. Now, I have it on DVD in surround and haven’t watched it in years.

I was watching a Mary Tyler Moore rerun a while back and Murray got upset because a TV station cut a scene out of a Marx Brothers movie. It took me a second to remember why that would have been upsetting back before VCRs.

It’s so odd that as I get older, I actually watch fewer movies – There aren’t enough hours to sit down for a full film. I gotta change that. Anyone know where I can rent a movie from? :)

  1. Tim
    March 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I would watch this film.

    • March 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      I just spend 30 seconds looking for the “like” button for your comment. Turns out WordPress doesn’t have a “like” button.

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