Yes, folks, it’s true… this month marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved DVD format. The exact date is a matter of debate; some technically consider March 1, 1997 as the official date, though our records show that March 19 technically marks the official start of the U.S. launch, and the format was actually launched first in Japan in November of 1996. Either way, the first players and movie discs weren’t available in the seven initial U.S. test markets (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Washington) until much later in March 1997.
Specifically, the first DVD titles appeared at Best Buy, Tower Records, The Good Guys, and other video/electronics stores in those markets on March 24, and the first actual players didn’t arrive in stock until March 26. Warner launched the format with an initial slate of 25 titles, including Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (as it happens, the first title I purchased – you can see it below), Twister, Batman, GoldenEye, Eraser, The Fugitive, The Glimmer Man, The Mask, and Space Jam, among others. Those titles sold for $19.95 to $24.98. Tell me... do these old Snapper cases (below) look familiar to you? [Read on here…]