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10 Fun Facts About the VHS That Will Blow Your Mind

By Katy Sommerfeld

The VHS tape dominated the home movie market for almost 3 decades, seeing its way through the ‘80s and ‘90s and staying on top through all the changes in hairstyles and boy band preferences. Most of us can remember watching our favorite Disney movies on VHS every Saturday morning.


Many of us still have home videos recorded on VHS tapes that embarrass us and make us nostalgic for our childhood. This revolutionary film format provided an easy way for families to gather around and watch a movie or make their own. Though most of us are familiar with the VHS tape, here are 10 fun facts about the VHS that will blow your mind!


  1. The VHS tape was invented by JVC in the early 1970s in Japan. Although there were forms of magnetic tape recording devices available prior to the VHS, they were used mostly in professional settings like television sets and medical labs for imaging. It wasn’t until the ‘70s that the devices were introduced into homes around the world for personal use. Perfect timing to capture all the wacky styles of the ‘80s on a new film format!
  2. The first movie released on VHS was The Young Teacher, a South Korean drama about a teacher who organizes a volleyball game at her school to boost self-confidence and school spirit in her students. While the film received little recognition, the VHS format proved to be very successful and quickly became the number one format for buying and selling movies.
  3. The best selling movie sold on VHS was The Lion King in 1995. 32 million copies were sold, generating 520 million in revenue. I bet some of us still have this VHS lying around somewhere!
  4. The VHS tape is 1,410 feet long, allowing for 4-5 hours of play time. Movies like Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, and Titanic were traditionally sold on two separate cassettes because of their length. Here’s to hoping you didn’t lose one half of the movie!
  5. The last movie released on VHS was A History of Violence, a thrilling film about a family man in a small town who is forced to protect his friends through an act of violence, rocking his family life to the core and causing people to question his past. The movie was nominated for two Oscars and two Golden Globes and has gained much more recognition due to its status as the last film released on VHS.
  6. The world's last VCR was made in June 2016 by Japan's Funai Electric, the last company that produced these devices. In 2015, the company sold only 750,000 units compared to their peak of 15 million units sold. The news of the VCR's end made headlines on USA Today, CNN, and Forbes - it seems that many people were sad to see the format die out.
  7. Although no more VCR being produced, you can still get a VCR for as little as $20 on eBay these days! Many folks are selling these old contraptions in hopes of making a quick buck. If you're feeling nostalgic, don't worry - these devices won't be gone any time soon.
  8. The VCR was sold for $1000-$1400 in 1975 when they were first introduced. Today, that would be $4444-$6222! According to the Chicago Tribune, 10 years later in 1985, it was sold for $200-$400, which is $475-$940 in today's dollar. That is crazy expensive, considering a simple DVD player can cost as little as $20 today.
  9. Twentieth Century Fox was struggling financially in the ‘70s until an audio/video firm called Magnetic Video came around to gain the rights to produce TCF's films on home video. A prominent home video market erupted from this business transaction, and the rest is history. The first American films released on VHS were The Sound of Music, Patton, and M*A*S*H.
  10. June 7 is now National VCR day! Americans missed the format enough to devote an entire day to celebrate the home video devices. There are lots of ways to celebrate the VCR and VHS technologies - one interesting organization called the Found Footage Festival devotes its time to searching for bizarre, unique, and amazing old VHS tapes found in second-hand stores and garage sales, and then displays them to live audiences around the country! What a quirky, fun way to celebrate!


The VHS tape was an American home essential for many years. So many family movie nights were spent around the TV, watching these tapes over and over again. All the home movies made on VHS tapes are innumerable, and so many precious memories are stored in these cassettes.


Why not update these home videos to a newer format that you can access from multiple devices and send to all your loved ones? With Southtree kits, you can send in your old VHS tapes and we will digitize them for you and store them on a thumb drive, the cloud, or DVD - whichever you prefer! What a great way to preserve those beloved memories for a lifetime!

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