Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pink Floyd The Wall on VHS (1983)

Billboard, October 29, 1983, p. 50

Suggested List: $39.95, a common videocassette retail price at the time. Adjusted for inflation, that's $96.36 in 2016. That same VHS video is now selling on eBay for around $1. However, if you have no way to play VHS or Beta videocassettes, here's some current options. And they're nowhere near $96.36. Such a deal.


or free on YouTube if you don't mind subtitles:

In August 1982, I drove into Houston with my buddy Jim to see the movie on its limited release date. I believe we went to the theater in Westwood Mall at the corner of Hwy 59 and Bissonnet. I had never heard the full album and was not a PF fan by any stretch, but I needed something to do. Anyhoo, they were handing out 5"x 7" programs/merchandising pamphlets at this local premiere and here's a scan of mine, which I've kept 34 years for some reason. Click photos to enlarge.

Later, Jim obtained movie one-sheets (like the one pictured below) for both of us. I stapled my poster to my bedroom wall which must have really disturbed my parents. I was such a passive aggressive rebel. Unlike the movie program, the poster hasn't survived in my archives. Not that my wife would allow me to display it.  :-(


  1. I tried to buy a copy of "The Blues Brothers" when it first came out on VHS but it was $99. I was told that the release was intended for purchase by video-rental stores and not for home sale. It seems to me this was normal in the early video age. Some videos were expected to sell big to home users and were priced accordingly, but many others were assumed to be only popular as rentals.

    Or I could be hallucinating the whole thing, which can never be ruled out.

    1. As a 20 year vet of Blockbuster, I can verify the veracity of jb's recollection.

      People would come in wanting to buy their favorite movies on VHS and surprisingly a third of them would actually put a $50 deposit down so we could special order them. Our biggest sellers were Pulp Fiction and Tombstone Here's where my memory gets sketchy but I wanna say that the VHS release of Top Gun was first under $20 but I just turned 50 and am vacationing/road trippin' through Colorado and I may have a contact high. I feel wonderful but my brain sounds like it is clicking, like a gear is missing a tooth or something.

      Studios balked at selling movies to the public back then and they were gonna do the same with DVDs until the chairman of Warner Bros (I think) said he was gonna price them to sell. The other studios quickly followed suit.

      When VHS tapes were faded out, there was still a huge demand from customers who had bought hundreds or thousands of them and wanted to fill in the holes in their collections. I found an ad for rare VHS tapes in a trade mag and ordered a couple of reasonably priced music videos for myself. Each tape came wrapped inside an XL vintage Hawaiian shirt - a shirt for each tape. I turned several customers on to this guy and everyone loved the bonus shirts. Unfortunately, I outgrew the dozen or so shirts I had and they were donated to Goodwill. But I proclaimed this the Summer of the Hawaiian shirt and have ten XXXB sized ones in rotation. I'm that guy.