While so many people work to maintain a cutting edge entertainment system – Blu-ray! Tivo! High Def! Flat Screen! – this family is happily geeking out over a clunky VCR plugged into a TV that by today’s standards is small.
My family loves movie nights as much as the next family, but life happens. We have a DVD player and a Netflix subscription, but those little red packets often languish alongside the TV for weeks at a time as we wait for an opportune time to watch together. This makes movie night feel less like something enjoyable and relaxing and more like undue pressure. Also? It doesn’t make much sense financially. Less than $10 a month for DVD movies and instant viewing of TV episodes (and more movies) makes sense for many families. But I’m beginning to think it doesn’t make sense for us.
I can pick up second hand videos for seventy-five cents at my local thrift store. By maintaining a small collection of movies that we’d like to see, there’s always something to watch when we’re ready to sit down as a family. Just pop a video into the $10 thrift store VCR (I know it was $10 because the price sticker is still on it – Martha, I’m not), fire up the air popper, and we’re ready for some family fun – on our schedule.
Movies that we’ll watch again (Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, Whale Rider) are keepers. Others (White Fang, American Graffiti, Big) will go back to the thrift store for another family to use and enjoy.
It’s not a high tech, high-end entertainment system. And I’m okay with that. Let’s just call it retro, shall we?