Renting of video cassettes- what year did you first notice them being available?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Strang, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I noticed it in 1979-1981 somewhere around there. There were no chains in my area; all mom and pop operations. In fact one of them was a Curtis Mathes dealer and wanted a $100 deposit for a membership in their rental club.

    I didn't start renting tapes until 1984 when I bought my first VCR. The audio store where I bought all of my stuff back then including the VCR rented tapes with no deposit required and only charged something like $2 a rental. Surely this was to encourage the purchase of VCR's.

    I miss that store.
     
  2. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Boy, tough to remember these dates. Probably around 1981-83. A mom and pop operation and we had to rent the VCR player at the same time. Kind of a special event to rent one over the weekend and then get two or three tapes.

    Around 84 I was a loan officer at a bank and got a request from a young (early 20's) guy and his father to open up a video rental store in Mountain Home Idaho. We had to history of this industry to go on and I think we would only consider it with a lien on the house. The inventory of VCR's and Video Tapes was not sufficient collateral for the loan. I don't know if they got the loan, but the early stores had a chance to be the early McDonalds.
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    In 1983-84 we often rented VCRs for a few days (all of them were mono), finally got our own in 1985. I remember when most rental stores actually had a PAGE printed out you could take that listed ALL the titles they had! A lot of stores didn't seperate the movies by category either, except the kids movies and adult (XXX). I wish I had some of those padded cases they put the tapes in when you rented them- they had labels inside telling you to make sure the tracking is adjusted and not to put the tape near any magnets.
     
  4. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Not sure of the year, but it was the very early 80's. I also remember going to the Curtis Mathes dealer and also Fretter Appliance, where you had to ask for the video you wanted as they were all kept behind the counter. I also remember the first camcorders, where you had to lug around what amounted to a VCR on a shoulder strap. Blank VHS tapes then were around $20. Dang I'm getting old!

    Jon
     
  5. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    I think it was '82. The only place we had was located inside a huge record store. They just started renting Beta and some VHS stuff.

    One thing I remember is that the whole selection filled 3 25 foot shelves on the wall and the kid who ran that section was board stiff because nobody really knew what "renting movies" was all about, so he never had many customers. We were regulars so he got to know us by name, it's funny looking back on it now I guess.

    Alfer
     
  6. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    As I recall, the first video store around here opened around 1979-80. It's what got me hooked. They had maybe 300-400 tapes which rented for $5.00 a night, but certain weeknights you could get 2 for $5.00 which I thought was great. They carried everything in both VHS and Beta.

    This got me thinking of my first VCR. It was a Beta from Sears (made by Sanyo) and cost over $700. It had to have weighed at least 45 pounds and recorded at only one speed. Blank tapes sold for around $15 each. I found a place in NYC that sold them for around $10 if you bought a case. A guy I worked with and I would chip in now and then and get a case. We thought we had such a deal. When I had to switch to VHS (I still think Beta was better, but that's another story) I gave my Beta to a friend and he kept it going until about a year ago. Boy they sure don't make 'em like that anymore.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I was too young to put a date on it, but I remember the mom and pop stores around my hometown, there was one place that had like 3 locations, then the grocery stores when I was like 7 had pretty big rental areas.

    I remember they didn't track late fees, so if you dropped late tapes off and snuck out before they saw you ya never got charged.
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I can't remember. All I can remember is copying them. I had 2 mono vcr's and I used to have to adjust the manual tracking. Used to also sqeeze 3 movies on a single 6 hour cassette. Later, I hooked it up to the stereo. It looked and sounded like absolute crap compared to today's systems, not to mention DVD.
     

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