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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 17:58 
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I wasn’t a huge consumer of AV stuff in the 90s but I read all the magazines and I was working at a rental place and reading a lot of catalogs and magazines and my personal recollection is that I never saw SQUAT for Beta releases after even 1990. I’d say 86 or 87 was the real “end” in retail. By the time the 90s came around all the Beta jokes had been made and stuff was over. I never saw a trace of it. I knew some hardcore anime fans with Beta VCRs but by the time serious nation-wide fan subbing took off Super VHS was a thing so screw Beta. Whoever was buying The Fugative in 1994 was a serious fan getting his stuff direct.

However, I’ve been collecting stuff for way too long to make too many definitive declarative statements about anything. :) If they really were manufacturing as few as 20 at a time it’s safe to say that unless you find an list from Sony you can’t even begin to guess. They could be making them all for a hotel PPV service or an airline or some weird luxury prison in Saudi Arabia. Municipalities hang on to gear for ages sometimes so it could be something make for a DMV waiting room or a workplace sexual harassment training tape.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 22:04 
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signofzeta wrote:
I wasn’t a huge consumer of AV stuff in the 90s but I read all the magazines and I was working at a rental place and reading a lot of catalogs and magazines and my personal recollection is that I never saw SQUAT for Beta releases after even 1990. I’d say 86 or 87 was the real “end” in retail. By the time the 90s came around all the Beta jokes had been made and stuff was over. I never saw a trace of it. I knew some hardcore anime fans with Beta VCRs but by the time serious nation-wide fan subbing took off Super VHS was a thing so screw Beta. Whoever was buying The Fugative in 1994 was a serious fan getting his stuff direct.

However, I’ve been collecting stuff for way too long to make too many definitive declarative statements about anything. :) If they really were manufacturing as few as 20 at a time it’s safe to say that unless you find an list from Sony you can’t even begin to guess. They could be making them all for a hotel PPV service or an airline or some weird luxury prison in Saudi Arabia. Municipalities hang on to gear for ages sometimes so it could be something make for a DMV waiting room or a workplace sexual harassment training tape.

Same here. After the first video store I ever went to, Video Image in Burlington, NJ, took down their Betamax section in 86 or 87 I never saw another Betamax movie in a store of any type EVER after that (and believe me, I would hit any and ALL video and music stores I ever came across back in the day--so that's saying something.) Only the odd Betamax blank tape in Sam Goody's or Tower Records. So to me, Betamax was over by that point.

Even the mighty Movies Unlimited who had a HUGE mail order catalog from the late 80s to through the 90s listed NO Betamax titles in it whatsoever.

Lo and behold, I managed to get my hands on a Betamax release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (released on video in 1992) not too long ago, and from what I've been able to find, Aladdin is also on Beta.

So never say never.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 15:38 
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I actually got my hands on a Betamax machine last year. Found it at a recycling center, in full working order, with a remote, didn't pay a penny for it.

I still find it crazy that the damn thing is as old as I am - it was released the year I was born - but it still works great, while my Samsung blu-ray player started malfunctioning not even a year after I got it!

The problem with trying to figure out what the "last" betamax title is that the format didn't disappear almost overnight like Laserdisc did, but simply faded away from public view, first from the shelves, then from the catalogs. I don't think we should count professional, non-consumer releases tho, that'd just make your head spin.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 20:20 
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I wouldn’t describe the end of LD as overnight at all. It took years.

HDDVD on the other hand died in like two weeks. I bought my first and only release, the big Bladerunner box, and then publishers started pulling out and it was dead by XMas. Stuff moves fast now...
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2018, 21:14 
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I meant like the disappearance of commercial releases. Of course I can't vouch from personal experience since they were never sold here, but looking at the release dates for commercial releases, they all pretty much come to a dead stop around 1999. Industrial releases don't really count - if anybody ever made a list of all the titles never been released on DVD or blu, unless they specifically excluded them (and maybe all the music releases), probably about half the list would just be industrial releases that were never targeted to consumers anyway or technically even sold at all, like all those General Motors training videos.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2018, 19:12 
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Yes, Disney was the last company releasing beta videos until 1992.
Warner stopped in 1991.
( In America )

In Europe the last Beta Movies were released in 1988/89 in the UK.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2018, 19:52 
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nordkorea wrote:
Yes, Disney was the last company releasing beta videos until 1992.

Not quite since I've found that The Lion King was released on Beta by Disney, and that hit the home video market in 1995.

And in a previous post, there's an article that states that Mission: Impossible is the last major studio beta release.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2018, 10:24 
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The "Mission Impossible" looks like a myth nobody could verify.
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 Post subject: Re: Last Beta movie released?
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2018, 16:06 
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Stranger things have happened.

Like people finding titles on Laserdisc that weren't supposed to exist.
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