Growing up with VHS

When the first video stores opened, about all I remember was the waiting lists. There was the electronics shop—Campbell’s, I believe—where we initially rented tapes, then there was Video Adventure (across the street), where we ended up renting tapes because the lists were too long at Campbell’s. Obviously new movies on tape were a big deal—Raiders of the Lost Ark, for example; I don’t remember how long it took to start seeing a lot of catalog titles on VHS. I know King Kong ’33 and Frankenstein ’31 didn’t have restorations until the late eighties, but they might have had some kind of releases before those ones. King Kong was out on Nostalgia Merchant, before Turner scooped up the rights and colorized it. Frankenstein had a creepy all-black box. But there weren’t any Disney classics to start, so my mom took me to see them at a library. She wanted to make sure I saw them. It was good she did then because I wouldn’t have had any interest by the time they did come out. Boys didn’t watch Disney cartoons. Boys didn’t watch E.T. Boys watched—or wanted to watch—Chuck Norris movies, Sylvester Stallone movies (scary how much better the latter are than the former). Eighties toxic masculinity. I really need to watch Sleeping Beauty again, I remember—from seeing it about fifteen years ago—I remember it’s the best of the Disney classics.

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