On an October morning in 2008, a truck loaded with VHS cassettes pulled away from Distribution Video Audio’s warehouse in Palm Harbor, Fla.—and made history: It was the last major shipment of movies on VHS bound for retail stores. As owner Ryan J. Kugler told the Los Angeles Times: “It’s dead. This is it.”
VHS was dead. In fact, A History of Violence, the last major Hollywood title put on videocassette, appeared in 2006. But the demise of VHS didn’t mean that Americans had wearied of watching movies in their living rooms.