Video Cassettes for Sale and Rent in 1981

Here is another ad I found for a video rental place that is proudly displaying some of the big sellers of 1981. I recognize a lot of these films, many of them timeless classics, but some like Melvin and Howard and The Island are films I have not seen in decades. So I plan on checking these films out this month and see if they hold up to further viewing. I seem to remember enjoying The Island back when I saw it on cable TV, so that should be a real treat.

How many of these movies have you seen? Any you don’t recognize?

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3 thoughts on “Video Cassettes for Sale and Rent in 1981

  1. ddsw says:

    Think there was a law at the time that all video store newsprint ads needed to have that filmstrip or footlight border…

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Not only did I see all of these movies, a dozen of them were experienced in theatrical showings.

    Was unsure about The Hunter, but recognized that VHS cover from its IMDB poster.
    Would have to watch that again.

    Was also unsure of Divine Madness, thinking I haven’t watched a lot of older John Waters films.
    But yeah, realized it was a Bette Midler concert filmed I had seen in the days of clam-shell video cases.
    Remember being bored out of my skull, as I expected some bits of comedy, at least.

    At the prices of rentals in those days, always felt compelled to watch each and every movie, no matter how bad.
    Then again, opinions didn’t matter as much, as it was not an ‘instant-feeling-must-be-shared-with-others’ such as with social media, nowadays. Today, personal opinions seem to matter more than personal experience.

    No, watching a rented film presented a priviledge of shared media production. There was something thrilling about the very fact of having that choice, that option, in our life.

    Seeing lists of then-available VHS titles (and yes, even Beta you fine fallen champion, sir) brings back that sense of elation.

    I gotta admit though, I kinda get that old ‘future-is-now’ feeling when browsing through Netflix titles.
    Now all they hafta do is give us a VHS cover format for searching (like some third-party sites do) and maybe have a giant hand grab something you’re looking at, considering whether to get for yourself…

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