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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mike Frezon, Sep 18, 2018.
Power (maybe solar panels), check. Discs & kit, check. Accidentally treading on your (thick) glasses, check. Oh damn!
I started collecting movies the minute VHS started coming down to normal people pricing levels and I venture to guess I collected over the years close to 100 VHS movies. I remember how exciting it was to see my favorites hit the shelves, like Raiders, Star War's, Beverly Hills Cop and so many more. I remember going to used movie stores and grabbing handfuls of movies. Sadly many never got watched, I just felt that urge to have them.
When DVD hit I started collecting once again and replaced most of the VHS versions with DVD. I'd say I was close to collecting 100-150 over the years (1997-say early 2000's era).
All of those movies are long gone and have been sold off or given to friends or Goodwill, but during those collection years it was fun actually owning all the movies I loved growing up and as an adult. It was addicting for sure.
Thank you so much @Mike Frezon for starting this thread. I referenced the essay in a twitter exchange and it sent me into serious nostalgia. You guys rule for reinforcing it!
I own lots of movies for all the places they can take you. We don't have time travel or Star Trek-style transporters, but through movies we can be transported to other places, other times, even other worlds for a couple hours. It's a nice way to escape when real life fills your day with crap.
I had a few VHS titles growing up in the 1980's, but my Dad mostly recorded stuff he wanted to watch again when the various cable channels did a WW2 tribute or a James Bond marathon. Every once in awhile he'd record something like Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation or something like that. I didn't really get into the collecting of movies until I found out that while very limited, some titles were being released on VHS in widescreen. I guess that would have been in the 1990's. Suncoast video sold them or would order them if you requested a title. I had a few of those but I didn't make a lot of money working at a clothes store part time so my budget was limited. I couldn't afford laserdisc (although I did end up getting a used one a few years later).
Fast forward a few years when I finished college and got a "real" job. DVD was starting to come on strong and I was buying up titles left and right. Many of them blind buys of new films. I still hadn't been bitten by the classic film bug outside of WW2 films and a few other military type titles (Lawrence of Arabia). I was a big Hitchcock fan even back then though so I picked those up as well.
Fast forward again to the HD-DVD and blu-ray war. I sat it out until I was pretty comfortable blu-ray was going to win. I went all in with a widescreen tv and an Oppo bluray player (their first). By this time, I was really into classic films and pretty much disregarded most new film releases outside of the ones that seriously interested me. Now I was blind buying classic films on bluray and it was/is a great experience. I really got into the epic type films so bought as many of those as were available. Then I started buying as many of the early Cinemascope titles as possible. I have no where near the amount of discs that some folks have mentioned as I have to have a place to put them. I usually weed out titles once or twice a year that I figure I won't watch again. Much of my old DVD collection gets donated, especially when a blu-ray comes out that supplants it. I really enjoy classic film due to the quality of the scripts and the subject matter. I also love the color of most classic films as it seems like so many modern films are washed out in appearance.
I have picked up a few 4k discs but have not yet bought a 4k set up. It'll come soon though. Maybe Christmas if my wife thinks I've been good.
I've been in love with movies since I was 8 years old. Every Saturday my parents would drop me off at one of my local cinemas (we had 2 theaters) giving me enough money for a ticket and popcorn or candy. It's mind boggling that parents would let such a young child go alone to the movies today but it was a different era and a small town and who knew about predators and pedophiles in the 1950s (though I'm sure they existed). I saw everything, I didn't care what was playing. I remember once plunking down my 75 cents for High School Confidential only to be told I couldn't be allowed in because this was an adults only movie! Which meant I had to trek 2 blocks down to other cinema and see Debbie Reynolds in This Happy Feeling instead. Then my local TV station bought a slew of MGM titles from the 1930s and 1940s and I discovered "classic" cinema which only fueled my love for the movies even more. When I got to college, I discovered international cinema. Bergman, Antonioni, Kurosawa, Godard, Truffaut and yet another world of movies opened up for me.
When this new VHS/Beta thing came along, one would think as a film buff/geek I would have jumped on it but I wasn't interested. Indeed, between 1968 and 1982, I didn't even own a TV! I didn't like the bulky look of tapes and the winding and rewinding seemed like a pain the ass and I was too busy going to the movies anyway. Then when visiting a friend, he showed me his new purchase, something called laser discs! Now, it got my attention. But more for the sound than the picture. Stereophonic sound! (At this stage, VHS tapes were still mono). I caved in and bought my first laser disc machine along with four discs (Grease, Hello Dolly, Dr. No, The King And I) and the die was cast. My laser disc collection grew and grew and I moved on to DVDs and eventually blu ray (the buck stops here, it's my last format).
In my younger days, I never dreamed that I could actually own movies! One had to wait for the film to be shown on TV (usually sandwiched between commercials) or re-released or at a revival cinema devoted to older films. Perusing the shelves that cover every inch of space in my tiny one bedroom apartment, I still get a thrill thinking, "I can't believe I own these movies!" On the shelves, available at any time on a whim's notice to watch. As I enter (or should I say entered ) the twilight of my years, my love of cinema has never gone away and I still go to the movies once a week (saw Widows, Colette and Beautiful Boy this past week) in addition to watching movies at home.
I apologize with the TMI post when I could have simply answered because I love movies! Recent count hovers around the 7,000 mark.
Although I've had a lifelong love for movies, I never really collected until the BD era. We had some Disney films on VHS for the kids, but I always knew VHS would NOT be the end of the line for home video, nor did I think DVD would be although I collected a few DVD's (Bond Ultimate Editions, LOA, Ben-Hur, etc).
When BD came along I thought it would be the end of the line, that any future formats would have to be in the form of holograms to be significantly better that 1080p, especially for older, catalog films.
While I've upgraded to 4k equipment, I don't have a single 4k release yet as very few of the older films that are my favorites have been released on 4k (I've surprised myself by NOT purchasing The Bridge on the River Kwai 4k release but the reviews I've seen don't make it seem like a huge enough upgrade), and I have no desire to own most modern films (fully 65% of my 950+ BD/DVD's are pre-1980 films). The only 4k films I will definitely purchase when (if) they arrive will be LOA, WED, The Guns of Navarone, Hitchcock's films, the Bond films, and a few others. I'll watch some current releases in 4k via streaming but doubt I will ever purchase them.
I do wonder what will happen to my collection when I'm gone, I wonder if it will be looked at like a waste of money as it will certainly have not appreciated in monetary value, and my children have little to no interest in "old" movies. If I go first, my wife will probably keep it around just for sentiment's sake and maybe one of my kids will do the same, at least for a while. Then I suppose it'll become garage sale or Goodwill fodder. Dust in the wind, just like me.
Oh well, I enjoyed owning them.
You have a valid point about leaving collections behind for family to deal with.
I'm sure it would be more of a burden than a boom for most families. Many may not want the piles of reminders sitting around to see daily.
Probably most folks would box up and dump off at Goodwill since many people don't want discs anymore and don't want to have to store them all (for big collections). Enjoy them while 6' above ground and just know you're family will probably toss out soon after you're 6' under.
I know if I inherited 1000 discs the last thing I'd want to do is figure out how to try to sell them off. I'd toss out as fast as I could or put "FREE" on a box at the curb and consider it paying it forward.
I have many thousands of films on DVD and blu-ray- well over 10.000. I work in the film business and I teach young film makers by maintaining a non-profit digital archive. Having a broad frame of reference is vital to being creative. A normal member of the audience can just "like" or "not like" a movie, and they can watch only the genre of films they happen to enjoy. But a film maker needs to understand the nuts and bolts of what's going on under the hood, and he needs to have an idea of the range of possibilities within the medium. That all comes from watching and analyzing all kinds of films. TV doesn't provide the depth of catalog that is required.
Thomas, my experience was somewhat like yours.
I first fell in love with movies watching the old Dialing for Dollars morning movie, Shock Theater on the weekends, etc on my local TV stations. I also lived in a small town with 2 theaters on Main Street. I saw my first movie at age 7 (1970), and from about age 10, my parents dropped me off 2 nights a week and I'd go to the movies regardless of what was playing. It was such a small town that the theater owner knew my parents and if I wanted to see an "R" rated movie they'd either take me or would give the theater owner the "high" sign that it was ok for me to attend along. I saw The Godfather and Deliverance (I had already read both books) when I was 9, The Exorcist at 10, and so on. There wasn't a major film that was released that I didn't see in the theater. Now, I've only been in a theater about 5 times in the last 5 years.
Hopefully, I am not veering too far off topic, but this thread has also served my recollections of when I first began to collect films in an even earlier format. My very first reels of film had come out of a group known as Castle Films. If memory serves me correctly, these silent 8mm reels had a running length of about 9 minutes. The product was out of Universal Pictures, offering excerpts from their Classic Monsters, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello, The Marx Bros. and Woody Woodpecker. As for the road to collecting, or when the dye was cast; was when I saw a handy compact stack of catalogs on the glass counter at our local camera store. This was the treasure trove of every single reel from Castle Films; which further offered the same titles in Super 8 Magnetic Sound and 16mm with Optical Sound. I looked to the future, but was only able to afford the former; as 16mm had always remained out of reach. I later graduated to Blackhawk Films. As it was,16mm financially remained as out of reach to me then; not unlike the Oppo and 4K projectors of today. But, give it another year.
I am blown away by Mike Frezon, Robert Crawford, ahollis, Thomas T and Bigshot; as the number of films amassed within their collection makes my potently prideful collection seem paltry. I suspect that many here at HTF are more than likely the very same individuals to whom I has marveled; when I was in the 7th grade; as being the lucky owners of those coveted 16mm films from long ago.
Collecting movies is literally the fulfillment of a childhood dream.
At around 9 or 10 years old, I became fascinated by classic era films. I think initially this was via exposure to the Marx Brothers and other classic comedies and musical comedies on television. In those pre-home video days (early 1970's), I would scour the TV listings for new (to me) films to see. I remember spotting that The Cocoanuts, which I had not seen, was airing at 2AM or some similarly ungodly hour on some station. I situated myself in the living room with a TV tray that held a basin of cold water and a washcloth -- so I could splash my face with water if I started to fall asleep. I imagined it might be literally the only chance in my life to see this movie.
Around the same time I started to have a recurring dream about having a huge film library. These were actual films, and the dream included an automated mechanism where I could select any film title and a mechanical arm would retrieve the reel (not sure I knew then that features were on multiple reels) from the vast expanse of shelves and, somehow, begin projecting it for me.
I never got into actual film or even VHS collecting but by the time laserdisc came along I started building a library, as budget allowed. I never got any kind of mechanical retrieval mechanism either, but those laserdiscs and the subsequent DVDs and blu-rays that I have accumulated have felt like a dream fulfillment. And I can watch The Cocoanuts whenever I want (although I am more apt to watch Horsefeathers if in a Marx Brothers mood).
Back in the day, when I was 13 years old, I wrote a letter to United Artists. At that time, I was seeking the ownership of my first full-length film. I had asked them if it would be possible to generate a Color Super 8 Magnetic Sound print of "Fiddler on the Roof". My request had also specified a desire that the film be spooled onto 9 reels; as my 2nd projector (a Eumig) was able to hold up 20 minutes at a time. The nominal payment that I had offered was equal to the going market price of those 20-minute color and sound excerpts that were being offered by 20th Century-Fox. I believe my offer was in the neighborhood of $300.00.
Looking back upon this request, it seems that I was already in training to be an HTF member;
as this request had marked my first Wish-List title for my collection.
And yes, United Artists did reply. They said "No".
Nonetheless, I thought it was really cool to have a signed letter with the UA logo upon it.
I felt like an insider.
I was never asked "how", only "why".
And the answer to that is well written in this great essay:
Because I want to watch these movies when I am in the mood for it at any given time.
Some posts have been removed, let's stop with the personal and negative comments towards other people. We don't allow such talk here.
Alex, thank you for sharing your story. Living in a 2 theater small town was probably different in my "era". Back then, movies played for only one week in each theater as anyone who wanted to see the movie had probably seen it. An especially popular film was "held over" for 2 weeks and in extremely rare cases a movie played -gasp- 3 weeks! Things changed in December 1964 when a little movie called Goldfinger opened in the smaller of our two local cinemas. It played for an incredible 13 weeks in one theater which was unheard of! There was a lot of repeat business (I know I saw it twice) but it effectively turned our two movie house town into a one movie house town for those 13 weeks!
I don't think it was totally different. My town had a population of 6,643 in 1970, the county population was just over 40,000. Our "2" theaters were actually a large theater (The Carolina) that held 1000 people but in the early 70's they converted the balcony and some other upper floor space into a separate smaller theater (The Carolina II) which held about 250 people. For some reason, they changed films on Wednesdays and films, except for big blockbusters, were rarely around for more than 2 weeks (I too remember the big "HELD OVER FOR A 2ND BIG WEEK" ads in our local newspaper). Many times, the 2nd week the movie moved from the main "Carolina" auditorium to the smaller "Carolina II" theater. We also had a drive in (owned by the same people). If the movie was a big hit, after its 2 week run at the Carolina, it would move to the drive-in for another week.
Sadly, it closed in the early 90's and was replaced by a bank. Now, the town has a 12-screen stadium seating multplex.
Finally, "student" admission at the Carolina was $1.00 (although they sometimes suspended the discount the first week of a big blockbuster) and concessions were .50 hot dogs and popcorn, and .75 for a drink. I remember because I could go to 2 movies a week for $5 including snacks (unless I had a hot dog AND popcorn
A few pics of the Carolina:
I was really pleased to see Doug Pratt get a mention here. His LaserDisc Newsletter was the reason I became a laserdisc-DVD-bluray collector and I STILL subscribe to his newsletter, nearly 30 years after I first started. He has gone through some tough times with the advent of Internet publishing and I'm sure he only has a handful of subscribers left. I will support him until he stops publishing! His website is still up but he hasn't had the resources to maintain it.
I love the spirit of all the home theatre enthusiasts on this site!
When I grew up in Windsor Ontario, there were two movie chains in town, one called “Famous Players” which had about 5 theatres, and one called “Odeon” which had 1. The “Odeon” got “Jaws” at the start of the summer, and which stayed all summer. This blocked the next movie which was supposed to play, in the theatre, but never came until its sequel came out. This movie was called “Star Wars”!