Remember when affordable home videotape recorders came on the market? Remember being awed by the concept that you could record your favorite TV shows and watch them over and over again—at any time you pleased? Remember how it boggled the mind, that you could go to a store, rent a VHS or Betamax copy of The Wizard of Oz, and watch it at home—as opposed to having to wait till the one time each year when it was shown on network TV?
Any Gen Xers, Gen Yers, or Millennials reading this will be completely clueless. They’ve only known a world where all media was at their fingertips. But those of us who lived through The Dark Ages, when networks and local stations controlled what we could watch and when, know better—and we’re better people for it.
Yes, kids; there was a time when one of the biggest questions one had to make in one’s life was “VHS or Betamax?” But, like the sundial and the hourglass, the steam locomotive and the dirigible, the typewriter, the phonebook, and the Walkman; videotape also went the way of the dodo. Videotapes were replaced DVDs; DVDs were replaced by streaming video. Ah, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
But there’s good news. Like many things that have come and gone, some videotapes are now quite valuable. A VHS boxed set of the Godfather saga might get you $300. Certain Disney videocassettes are moneymakers, also: 101 Dalmatians $750; The Little Mermaid $999; Beauty and the Beast $5,000; The Fox and the Hound $1,495; and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs $2,800. But value, clearly, has nothing to do with quality of content; grindhouse swill and low-budget horror can also earn you some bucks. Who wouldn’t pay $400 for Hitch Hike to Hell, $800 for Night Ripper, $1,000 for Lemora, Lady Dracula, or $1,700 for Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks?
Maybe your beloved videocassettes of Mannequin and Mannequin Two: On the Move aren’t worth much now, but who knows what the future might bring. Remember how you almost tossed your entire videotape collection after you bought your first DVD player? You never know what could happen. A French film critic may announce that the Mannequin duology is a work of cinematic genius, making your copies priceless.
But until that blessed day, why have your old videocassettes cluttering up your den? At the very least, you’ve got to be tired of answering your friend’s kids when they come over and ask, “What are those things?” Instead, rent a reasonably-priced storage unit at Pasadena’s STORBOX Self Storage to stow away your videotapes. And while you’re at it, you might as well store your acid-washed jeans, shoulder pads, Member’s Only jackets, and fanny packs until they come back in style. If you have any question, just dial (626) 793-9888.