Why I Own So Many Movies.

Mike Frezon

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In the early days of the Home Theater Forum, moderator Robert A. Fowkes (RAF) posted an essay entitled "Why Do I Own So Many Movies?

It's hard to believe, but that essay was written more than 25-years-ago...in 1992! But a lot of the ideas contained within are still valid for many HTF members today. It was written by Doug Pratt in the introduction to The Laser Video Disc Companion.

As RAF himself noted: "Even though it was written in pre-DVD days, it applies to this format as well and is as relevant as ever."

So let's talk about our collections and why having these movies is so important to us.

Note of warning. This is NOT a thread about physical media vs. streaming vs. digital ownership. Any posts that start to take the thread in that direction will be edited/removed.

This IS a thread about why we love the movies so much and why we want to have them in our personal collections.

HERE is the essay...including RAF's remarks about why he so often referred to it. Maybe you'd like to give some more contemporary examples of certain movies (or performances) that are important to you...and which are "must haves" in your own collection.

Or maybe you've had to answer that very question "How can you have so many videodiscs?!?" when posed by a member of your own family (maybe even your own spouse!) or a friend.

What's YOUR answer? :D
 

Billy Batson

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Wow, 6000 titles! I think back to the 1960s, when the idea of actually owning a film, & being able to see it whenever I liked, & it looking as good as it did at the cinema, was pure fantasy, & now that's come to pass! I think I like buying & owning a film as much as I like viewing it, I don't know what that says about me.
 

Robert Crawford

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Wow, 6000 titles! I think back to the 1960s, when the idea of actually owning a film, & being able to see it whenever I liked, & it looking as good as it did at the cinema, was pure fantasy, & now that's come to pass! I think I like buying & owning a film as much as I like viewing it, I don't know what that says about me.
I now have ten "six shelf" book cases for my disc library. According to DVD Profiler, the total number of discs is 10,200. And yes, I have an extensive digital library too that is about 2000 strong between Vudu and iTunes. I'm simply running out of space so I have to use other means to maintain my film library.
 
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PMF

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Why does a gourmet have so many utensils?
Why does a pianist have so many scores?
Why does an artist have so many brushes?
Why does an ocean have so many fish?
Why does a sky insist on so many stars?

Our love for film is infinite;
and our collections are the evidence of that truth.
 
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Mike Frezon

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I realize that there are many newer HTF members who aren't familiar with RAF's legacy on the site.

Robert died just about seven years ago. We created this thread to announce his death and gather as a community to remember him and all his contributions to the forum.

Some newer members might be interested to learn something about the forum's early history and read some of the great remembrances about this great man.
 

David Norman

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I still get sad when I think of Doctor Fowkes. Even though I never met him in person, I think he was one of the first posters and longest continuous contacts I had online. I think I first posted with him in the early 90's on the old Compuserve HT forum possibly around 1991 or 1992. I can;t remember if he was ever on the USENET Laserdisc forums, but he could well have been there too. I'm sure he must have had a disagreement with someone, sometime online, but the heck if I can remember him ever in an argument

I;m not really sure I can add a lot to Doug Pratt's article. They do feel like my friends -- do we take a trip to the Beach, a baseball game, explore a distant continent, a far off world, or the internal human process tonight. You never know where it might lead and some things can be watched over and over and still seem fresh.

For now
"I just miss my friend" toward RAF
and a little less lurid version of "I like to watch" to answer the question
 
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CarlosMeat

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What a great essay ! Thanks for that. I do relate so well to owning since my mood so dictates the choice. I use my theater only on weekends but quite a bit then. Usually the end of the week I enjoy the slowest pace films the most, or B films.

I did not know Dr Fowkes but I appreciate this intro more or less of the man here.
 

Robert Crawford

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I realize that there are many newer HTF members who aren't familiar with RAF's legacy on the site.

Robert died just about seven years ago. We created this thread to announce his death and gather as a community to remember him and all his contributions to the forum.

Some newer members might be interested to learn something about the forum's early history and read some of the great remembrances about this great man.
Those were the days, a lot of great HT and film discussion and I miss RAF very much. Our times out in LA during Meets were some great times.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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In the early days of the Home Theater Forum, moderator Robert A. Fowkes (RAF) posted an essay entitled "Why Do I Own So Many Movies?
Hard to believe that a week from Saturday he'll have been gone seven years. What a tremendous contribution he made to this hobby, and this forum in particular.

What's YOUR answer? :D
Home video has always held a special fascination for me. Even as a kid, the special treat that I loved the most was when my parents would take me to the local video store to rent a movie. The whole process damn near had the feeling of a religious rite for me: perusing all of the VHS boxes on the shelves, figuring out which movie I wanted to watch (a process that could take an hour or more sometimes!) and then bringing the little disc with the number on it, hanging from a little plastic hook glued to the VHS box, up to the register to get the actual movie in a clear plastic case.

The idea that something as massive as a motion picture could be contained inside that little plastic cassette was kind of mind blowing to me. And usually when we'd get back home, watching the movie as a family was its own treasured experience.

When DVD first came onto my radar around 2000, it was the right hobby at the right time. My fascination with home video hadn't abated, but my beloved local independent video store had been driven out of business by Hollywood Video. Hollywood Video was a bigger store with a bigger selection, but it didn't have the same ambience. It didn't help that I was older, and therefore less prone to romanticizing the mundane.

So when DVD was priced for consumer purchase, I was happy to cut out the middle man. And as much as I'd loved commercial VHS, DVD represented a remarkable, eye-popping event. Watching the Five Star Collection DVD for the first time video the S-Video port on the television was a genuine event. Every single person in the room was blown away.

As DVD killed off the video stores, including the big chains like Hollywood Video, my growing collection offered me a diversity of options that began to surpass what was available to rent. If going to the video store was cool, having the video store under your own roof was even cooler.

And then Blu-Ray came along, and changed the game again. I remember watching Sound of Music on Blu-Ray, with Maria and the children dancing and singing through 1964 Salzburg standing in for 1930s Salzburg, clear and detailed as could be, and having the same thought I'd had as a child: That a massive motion picture could be contained inside a little silicon disc, in quality exceeding that of most theatrical presentations, was again mind blowing to me.

I don't buy nearly as many movies as I used to, and I don't watch the ones I have nearly as often as I'd like to. But there's still something really cool to me about having a fairly extensive cross-section of cinematic history and achievement sitting in my living room, at my beck and call.
 

Robert Crawford

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Another thing about RAF is he was really into tech and computer stuff. I think he would have bought into streaming too as another way to collect movies. No question, like me, physical media would be the first preference, but he would also adapt too with the technological changes.
 

TonyD

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I own so many because I want them.

Profiler says I have about 2500 currently in my collection.
I’ve probably sold and given away nearly 2000.

I live In a small house now so I’ll never be able to own much more then I have now.
Most of the dvds and large box sets are in an armoire these days.

I miss Robert on this forum.
He had given me his contact info nearly 20 years ago when I started building my theater room in my old house.
My interest was his shelving system.
It was huge and I tried to build a similar one.
 

Dick

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I now have ten "six shelf" book cases for my disc library. According to DVD Profiler, the total number of discs is 10,200. And yes, I have an extensive digital library too that is about 2000 strong between Vudu and iTunes. I'm simply running out of space so I have to use other means to maintain my film library.
Building a new floor, or an extension to your home, could work.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Mike, thanks for starting this thread. While I never met RAF in person, I knew him from this forum. He had a great love for movies and home theater, and contributed greatly to this forum. He is still missed around here.

As for my collection and motivations, I have loved movies since I was a little kid. I still remember my mother taking me to see Snow White at the Penn Theater in downtown Plymouth Michigan when I was 5 or 6 years old. BTW, that old theater was saved from demolition by the community, who created a non-profit organization to run the theater, It's the only movie theater in Plymouth, and is run by volunteers. A ticket costs $3, and they use a cigar box instead of a cash register.

Anyway, my collection is much more modest than some members, at just under 1,300 discs and about 75 streaming titles that I do not have on disc (per my DVD Profiler database). I grew up in an era before home video, like some other old timers here. I enjoy being able to have my favorite films available to watch whenever I desire, unlike the old days of waiting for something to be shown on TV and being home to see it -- sometimes in "glorious" pan & scan. What a great time we live in when I can pull The Godfather or Patton off the shelf and watch when the mood strikes.
 
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Mike Frezon

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My interest was his shelving system.
It was huge and I tried to build a similar one.
Oh my gosh. I had forgotten about that!

Another thing about RAF is he was really into tech and computer stuff. I think he would have bought into streaming too as another way to collect movies. No question, like me, physical media would be the first preference, but he would also adapt too with the technological changes.
I think that's absolutely correct.
 

Race Bannon

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I only buy them to watch, to listen to the commentaries, and for films I like I will re-watch after about 2 or 3 years. But I have about 600 or so. Seems like a lot to me, but some of you have 10 times that.

There's no upward limit to the number I would buy, but I can only watch 2 or 3 a week. That caps me at about 100 a year as a realistic acquisition pace.
 

John Sparks

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I've always loved watching movies, so much so that I went to the Saturday morning kidde matinee almost every Saturday when I was a young kid. I've been collecting since you could tape old movies from cable onto VHS (100s) when cable was first introduced. I owned only 1 real VHS tape and that cost my wife $75 for a pan & scan of FORBIDDEN PLANET. Then started LDs and they numbered around 500 at one point (all sold.) Then got into DVDs and that numbers around 1500 when the HDDVD(all sold) - BD war was on.

Now, I still have the DVDs and all the BDs numbering around 3000 total...but only 1 UHD and 211 3D BDs.

Almost all my movies are sci-fi/horror. I do have all the A&C movies, lots of animation, TV Shows, and cowboy horseoaters. The classics are there too, such as CASABLANCA, etc. I have a fondness for old B& W movies, especially the noirs...a lot of British ones.

My collecting thru the years in a nutshell.
 
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ahollis

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I now have ten "six shelf" book cases for my disc library. According to DVD Profiler, the total number of discs is 10,200. And yes, I have an extensive digital library too that is about 2000 strong between Vudu and iTunes. I'm simply running out of space so I have to use other means to maintain my film library.
Robert, I’m not far behind you, for I have 9647 titles. Not sure why, but I figure when civilation collapses, as long as there is some type of power, I will be fine.
 

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