please...say it ain’t so...yet another thing from my childhood doomed to
the 80s graveyard?
Not my awesome, big, boxy VHS tapes! I’m not ready for VHS to RIP just
Beta, sure, I’m fine with Beta...but not my tapes.
My first two jobs ever were at video stores so I feel a real affinity
toward VHS tapes.
From the giant
cardboard boxes displayed on the shelves, to the clear plastic boxes I
would snap the tapes into for you to take
disappearance of video stores makes me nostalgic and sad.
Especially for the mom and pop stores that I worked at when I was a
teenager. The first store was called “Video Show” – it was my first job
ever and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to spend my weekends
and two days after school. The store was in a strip mall and had a very
cool sign that was bright blue with a picture of a movie camera on it.
My senior year of high school I worked at another store that was a little
bit of a bigger operation called “West Coast Video” which was kind of
funny, considering we were in Florida. This store was more modern and
cool and I worked there with a few guys who loved movies as much as I
did. We had to wear these terrible maroon polo shirts and name badges,
like a little uniform, I wasn’t crazy about that.
||Some of the big, bulky boxes that were top rentals during the years I was
in the industry were:
- Three Men and a Baby
- A Fish Called Wanda
- Coming to America
- Tin Men
- Outrageous Fortune
- Lethal Weapon
the pictures on the covers of these boxes are etched in my
memory forever – especially Three Men and a Baby, man,
people loved their Steve Guttenberg back in the day - they
couldn’t get enough of that one.
the late 80s/early 90s the Blockbuster and Hollywood empires began to
eat up the mom and pop stores...way more corporate than my little maroon
polo shirt operation, the big boys in the bright blue polo shirts
swooped in and took over.
I could no longer go into my little Video Show strip mall store and see
Doug and Joyce, the owners who were always so nice to me and ask them,
what’s new? What’s good? What I should rent tonight?
The whole novelty of going to the video store with nothing particular in
mind, wandering the aisles, reading the boxes and coming out with a
movie like Cocoon or The Legend of Billie Jean is pretty
Now we have Netflix, which while convenient, and great...it just doesn’t
feel the same as walking out of the store with some Raisinets, a soda
and a recommendation from Doug and Joyce.
I don’t care what anyone says, I refuse to get rid of my boxy tapes. This
Friday night get the air popper out, melt some real butter and pass me
the Milk Duds.
Oh and the screens scrambled...could you get up and spin the little
tracking dial deal?
Lori Ferraro is the author of
the website Drawn to
the 80s where the greatest hits of the 1980’s are illustrated by her
five-year-old son. Her blog
www.onceuponaproduct.com is where you can read about her obsessions
with make up, food, Mick Jagger, big hair, boys and yes...the 80's.