Once upon a time, most of us had something on our shelves. For years that something was big, it became a fad and eventually went to thrift shops and garage sales.
VHS tapes have made a surprising comeback.
“I love VHS, absolutely!” smiled Andy Campbell-Firkus of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, sitting in front of a wall of VHS tapes in his garage. People often come in to say that you have many movies. Then, it’s like “What’s the title?” It’s a title I have never heard of. I have about 1,500 VHSs, I used to have probably 5,000.”
How does anyone even manage to get that much? Campbell-Firkus was employed at several video stores during the 2000s.
“Many stores have eliminated their VHS sections. While they were doing that, I took them with me,” he explained.
The stranger and more bizarre, the better.
He held up a VHS tape from his collection and said “Cat Adventure Video” to his cat. “I was like, “How can I not buy this?”
Campbell-Firkus is one of many VHS collectors that often trade and buy tapes from the “Be Kind, Rewind” era. That’s even though the last VCR was manufactured in 2016 and major Hollywood studios generally stopped releasing it on VHS in 2006
Campbell-Firkus said that in the age of streaming, the appeal of VHS is a bit like the return of interest in vinyl. VHS has not seen the same thing. Vinyl was restocked in large stores. Campbell-Firkus stated that there is a similarity between the sound of vinyl crackling and the way VHS sounds can bring back childhood memories.
He said, “I like the sensation of actually diving into the tape.” It’s something that you won’t see on YouTube.
Brian Morrison, holding up a VHS tape of Back to the Future, said that “this isn’t trash.” “We are throwing away too much history.”
Morrison is part the non-profit Free Blockbuster. The community library has a few VHSs and is free to use.
Morrison said, “It can be magical when people like it” and want to do so. “As of today we have 84 locations in the United States and Canada.
Morrison and Campbell Firkus point out that there are many movies or shows that were never released on VHS.
Campbell-Firkus laughed as he pointed to his collection.