Never mind the vinyl revival. Collectors, horror fiends, and even academics are fighting to save VHS movies from the dustbin of history – and not just because of nostalgia
Since the mid-Eighties, Vulcan Video has been renting movies to the cineastes of Austin, Texas, from two locations. It’s pet-friendly, has free parking and boasts an extensive Jerry Lewis DVD section, as well as shelves dedicated to Asian Horror and Canadian TV shows. But the store’s unique selling point is a room full of VHS cassettes that owners Bryan and Kristen are determined to preserve – despite the fact that only one or two are rented per day.
Vulcan Video recently became world famous thanks to the US TV host Jimmy Kimmel and Matthew McConaughey, who teamed up to make an ad for the store as part of Kimmel’s late-night talk show. The result is ramshackle and very funny, but most viewers will be left doing a double-take: “Wait, video shops are still doing business?” Despite the ubiquity of online streaming services such as Netflix or iTunes, the answer is yes. But Bryan and Kristen aren’t the only ones who care about the future of VHS.
Nine years after the last major Hollywood release on the format – David Cronenberg’s A History Of Violence back in 2006 – a movement to protect and preserve the obsolete format has begun. Take Yale University, which in March added a collection of 2,700 tapes to its library, to stand alongside Egyptian papyri and Lewis & Clarke expedition papers.
Read the rest of this article on the Telegraph Website here