DVD Nostalgia

dvd nostalgia

dvd nostalgia

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a good Netflix binge every now and then.

I love the convenience of being able to watch whole series in a 12 hour period, and I love that if I get a sudden whim to watch a horrible B-movie or a classic Gene Kelly flick, it’s only a quick search on my Roku away.

Still, lately I’ve been feeling a bit of nostalgia for the relationship I used to have with movies. And I think that “streaming” is to blame.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways that my relationship with movies was better, or at least more meaningful before digital age.

*Decision Fatigue-

I can’t be the only one who gets exhausted by the never ending decisions that are necessary for entertainment today.  Not only are there thousands and thousands of movies and tv shows to choose from, but you also have to choose which platform to watch it on, SD or HD; Netflix or Hulu: Amazon or XBox.

When I’m in the mood to relax, I usually end up spending 45 minutes scrolling and reading reviews, trying to decide what will satisfy my wants. Then once I choose something, I often watch 5 minutes and if it doesn’t immediately draw me in, I’m back to browsing.

I know that this has its advantages, but for me-it often turns an enjoyable and relaxing experience into a stressful one.

*The Ritual-

Going to the video store used to be one of my favorite activities. In the way that I still love an old fashioned book store, I got a lot of joy out walking down the aisles and reading the back of DVDs.

Not only that, but when there was a particular movie you wanted to watch, you had to get in your car and drive somewhere to get it. If it was a new release, you often had to wait a few weeks for it to be available.

Sure, it was frustrating at the time. But you have to admit that it made the whole experience a lot more special.

Since you had already made the effort to got to the video store and pay money for a rental, you were much more likely to sit down and watch the movie without other distractions. You also picked up popcorn and candy while at the movie store, so the whole ordeal felt like an experience.


Getting rid of my collection of 400+ DVDs before my last move was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I got a lot of pleasure in seeking out the movies that I loved and adding them to my collection.

I was proud of my movies. I organized them and displayed them and there is no question that they were a part of my identity. You could come to my house and automatically know that I was a huge horror movie buff and that I had an obsession with John Cusack.

When I made the decision to purge my collection due to lack of space, I figured I would begin to collect and purchase films digitally. That hasn’t happened. There doesn’t seem to be a point. I don’t need to own something to rewatch it, and what’s the point if no one can come over and admire my collection?


On the same note, there was a lot of comfort in the fact that Serendipity was on my shelf.

Back in the day, I would watch and rewatch my favorite movies over and over again. It was such a comfort to relive something that was both predictable and entertaining. Now I hardly ever rewatch movies. There are too many other choices. I know I still could, but it doesn’t give me the same joy when it’s a digital version.


On top of everything else, one of the things I miss the most is watching the extra and commentaries on DVDs. When I really love a movie, I want to know everything about it.

Now I have to rely on the internet to supply me with extra information and it’s just not nearly as fun.

As I said before, it’s not as if I’m against streaming video. I mean, I am a lazy mofo and I really like convenience. I guess maybe I’m still a little bitter about the closing of all the Blockbusters.

What about you? Do you ever miss ACTUAL dvds? Trips to the video store? Being able to make a pile of all of your John Cusack movies and swirl yourself around in them?


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  • http://mwaonline.blogspot.com Mwa

    I like randomly switching on the Sundance Channel and finding a little gem. I don’t stream, or even watch movies that much. (Shock horror.)
    I tried to get my husband to get rid of the boxes (!) of his DVDs to clear space – I found him some nice folders so he could keep all the discs and books, but he didn’t want to. He wants to have them to touch. They are on the top floor, so he doesn’t show them off.

  • http://www.thesequinnotebook.com B @ The Sequin Notebook

    I totally get overwhelmed sometimes by all of the options for movie viewing…it’s exhausting! I haven’t pulled the trigger yet but have recently been considering purging my collection due to lack of space…I know I can always track these movies down, but it’s still so hard to get rid of them!

  • http://www.therandomwritings.com/ Rachel G

    My parents own hundreds of DVDs and I love visiting them because of the movie selection. There’s no Netflix in China, or Malaysia either, so owning movies is still a thing–though we are able to stream some shows on the Chinese version of Netflix, which is free, but only has a really, really random selection. I like having “the real thing” because internet access can be really spotty–it’s no fun only being able to access movies when the internet works.

  • http://theramblingllama.blogspot.com/ Melissa The Llama

    I still have yet to embrace the movie streaming. Literally the only thing I use Hulu for is to watch episodes I’ve missed or binge on a show I haven’t seen in awhile. I never use it for movies. Movies for me are the DVD’s. Josh and I have 4 racks for DVDs and only one is 1/4 full lol. It’s one of those things we’ll always find space for damnit! Lol!!! To be fair one entire rack is Disney movies!

  • http://realtalkwithkb.typepad.com/blog/ Kathy@RealTalk

    we still have a huge dvd collection and i still watch them when the mood strikes. the only thing on regular rotation are my Friends DVDs because Friends. who doesn’t love Friends????

  • http://www.gracemakesnew.blogspot.com Julia Strong

    Yes to all of this! We will seriously spend SO much time just trying to decide what to watch because there are endless options for streaming! 30 minutes later we STILL haven’t figured out what to watch and I’m just annoyed by that point! We still have a TON of DVD’s and I still love watching them. Heck, I still have a few VHS that I watch if we don’t have the movie on DVD! Now THAT’s old school! 😉

  • http://www.businesslifeanddesign.com/ Jenn @ Business, Life & Design

    Agree! While I do really like the convenience of streaming, it’s not the same experience that watching a movie used to be. Now I’m much more likely to quit after 10 minutes and start something else, or watch “while” I do something else, which means neither thing really gets my full attention. For TV shows that I really like, I had to make a rule not to play with my phone while watching, because it’s much less enjoyable that way.

  • http://www.audielou.com Audrey

    We still have a shelf of DVDs in our basement, but I don’t know the last time we actually went down and picked one out… I guess when we take trips in a car with a DVD player (but that’s on its way out the door, too, since cars are now getting wifi in them). I still take pride in the fact that I own Beetlejuice and Fantastic Mr. Fox and all the Harry Potter movies 😀 Haha!

  • http://pinkypersistence.blogspot.com/ Pinky

    I do love DVDs and my parents actually get us each one for Christmas and Easter. I don’t had Netflix or prime so DVDs are the way to go for me!

  • http://www.militarywifeandpuglife.com MilitaryWifeandPugLife

    Aww I still have my DVDs! My husband said we have to start getting them all on Amazon and moving them out for space. We love John Cusack too. :)
    Better off Dead is my favorite. $2…

  • http://www.dreambigandbuytheshoes.com/ Emelia @ Dream Big & Buy the S

    Chuck is all about Netflix, Amazon, etc….me, I pull a DVD off the shelf and that’s what I enjoy! I can’t part with some of them!

  • http://www.thisimperfecthappiness.com Diana

    I never really owned a lot of dvds but I can totally relate. First I can spend way more time browsing the selections than actually picking something which totally stresses me out. I’ve learned that more choices does not equal happier Diana.

    I too have fond memories of heading into the video store. Growing up I feel like it was an every weekend we were at the video store picked up something. Then, in college if there was nothing to do, we would swing by blockbuster and pick a couple of movies up and head to a friends house. It’s kinda weird how quickly that changed.

  • http://carlyblogshere.blogspot.com/ Carly Blogs Here

    I don’t have anything close to that many DVDs but I have a little bin left– I never watch them anymore because basically everything is available online (usually in HD, haha), but I don’t think I’ll ever part with them for so many of the reasons you listed!

  • little luxury list

    I’m with you and remember Blockbuster runs during college with my housemates. Those were fun times and we’d be there late in our PJs picking a good mix of movies.
    I also do love the convenience of instant movies now. But yes, the selection gets a little crazy and i wish netflix was organized a bit better. Alas, we don’t even own a DVD player now…
    Ahh John Cusack…who doesn’t love him right?

  • http://whisperingwriter.blogspot.com/ Amber

    I do miss going to the video store. It was fun searching the racks of different movies.

    We actually own lots of DVDs. We buy our favorites.

  • http://www.thenashvillianblog.com/ Ash @ The Nashvillian

    Now I’m feeling nostalgic too! I also used to love watching the extras. For some movies, I have watched the extras many many times. I still have a whole shelf of DVD’s though…I can’t seem to give them up. :)

  • http://www.brookemeaganjones.com/ Brooke Jones

    I feel exactly the same way! I totally miss going to the video store. I’m super sentimental about it because it also reminds me of when Aaron and I first started dating. Lots of good memories in Blockbuster. We’d go and spend a good amount of time reading all the backs and discovering new movies and then grabbing chocolate and super nibs before heading home. It was an event! It takes me forever to pick out a movie or show on Netflix sometimes and it’s not a fun event, it’s annoying and it makes my hand hurt from all the scrolling. I purged most of my DVDs too, but kept a small collection of my favorites that I keep on my bookshelf and it feels so good every time I play one of them. I will never get rid of my Blue Crush DVD because it has awesome extras that I need to brush up on before I move to Hawaii and become a surfer girl!

  • ElleSees.blogspot.com

    still own my dvds and not sure i could give them up! i love the commentary too and all the extras.