We take a trip down memory lane by celebrating National VCR Day on June 7. Though thousands of movies are available today on platforms like Netflix, there was a time when simply watching a film was a special occasion. This included purchasing or renting a VHS tape from the video store — and no, these were not available at a cheap cost. Since a lot of thought and effort went into viewing a flick. Sigh, don’t you just miss those times of novelty viewing? Fret not, now is the perfect opportunity to relive the past!
History of National VCR Day
The video cassette recorder (VCR) is one of the most famous innovations in the history of technology. This is because there was a time when nearly every household in the U.S. owned a VCR. The first device was created by Norikazu Sawazaki in 1953, but the technology didn’t hit the market till 1956. In 1970, the innovation was launched for home use.
It is during this time that the VCR wars started. The competitors that introduced two different formats included the Sony Betamax and VHS by JVC. In the end, VHS came out on top and, by 1987, JVC had 90% of the $5.25 billion VCR market in the U.S. Once made available for the public, the device transformed several industries, including the world of cinema. It also birthed numerous VHS and video rental stores, adding to an increase in local businesses.
This marvel of technology had several uses such as playing movies/videos, as well as recording shows and events that were aired on TV. At a point in time when the internet did not exist, recording television shows to later replay them was a joy for many. Though the act of recording shows raised some concerns regarding copyright issues initially, the perception changed when the Supreme Court ruled home recording of TV programs ‘fair’ in 1984. This ruling allowed millions of people across the country to make their own collections of movies and TV shows. To acknowledge the impact VCRs had on the world, National VCR Day is celebrated every year.
National VCR Day timeline
VCRs are invented.
AMPEX releases a VCR worth $50,000.
Sony releases an affordable VCR.
The last VCR is produced.
National VCR Day FAQs
Can I still buy a VCR?
Though no one makes VCRs anymore, secondhand ones may be available at thrift stores.
Does anyone want old VHS tapes?
Yes, VHS tapes can be recycled. All you have to do is find an organization that can do the job.
What does VCR mean?
VCR stands for videocassette recorder — a device that records and plays videotapes when linked to a TV set.
How to Celebrate National VCR Day
Post some old memories on social media
What was your favorite VHS movie? What did you do when a VHS tape got stuck in the VCR? Share such interesting stories and experiences on social media to celebrate the day.
Watch your old recorded home videos
Dedicate the day to watching some home videos on a VCR. Not only will this serve as a reminder of the innovation that was once a big part of our lives but it will also bring back some great family memories.
Rent some movies
If you still own a VCR, take it out of the attic and have a VHS movie marathon! You can also search for stores that may still have VHS films they are willing to rent.
5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About VCRs
The best selling VHS movie
“The Lion King” sold 35 million copies in VHS.
The first VHS movie
The first VHS movie was a South Korean film called “The Young Teacher.”
The last VHS
“A History of Violence” was the last VHS produced in 2016.
Prices in 1975
In 1975, VCRs were sold for $1,000 to $1,400.
VCRs are sold on eBay today for a mere $20 on average.
It pays a tribute to technology
It pays a tribute to technology
National VCR Day looks at different inventions in video-recording that existed in the past and provides a historical perspective of the technological revolution.
Just talking about a VCR is nostalgic as it brings back those memories of watching movies on VHS tapes. It’s memories like these that the older generation holds on to for life and fondly relays to the newer generation.
It highlights how evolution in technology changes the world
This day is important for Generation X to understand how things evolved over time and the kind of knowledge and investment it took to reach the point where we are now, in which a movie can be played with a simple click of a button.
National VCR Day dates