Sunday, March 08, 2009

Anatomy of an Entertainment Center

Raquelle at Out of the Past posted photos of her DVD collection today (click title of this post) and encouraged fellow film bloggers to join in. I thought I'd participate, particularly as it gives me the opportunity to show off my husband's beautiful woodworking craftsmanship:

DVDs of various TV series are in the righthand section. There's a little bit of everything, TV wise: DICK VAN DYKE, DONNA REED, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, and REMINGTON STEELE alongside FRASIER, SPORTS NIGHT, and GILMORE GIRLS.

The two sections to the left are mostly movies, except for my daughter's STARGATE collection and my son's shelf of MAGNUM, MACGYVER, and ROCKFORD. There are three shelves devoted to Disney, including a shelf of Disney Treasures and True-Life Adventures tins. Two shelves hold more recent films, and there are also good-sized collections of Peanuts, Veggie Tales, and holiday DVDs. The rest of the shelves contain mainly Golden Era films from a wide variety of genres.

The TV just visible on the right is a Sony 36-inch flat screen where we do much of our family viewing. However, I tend to watch many movies on a smaller TV in our den, in part as I often wind down after a long day of homeschooling and proofreading by watching a movie late at night after the rest of the family has gone to bed. (The den TV is further from the bedrooms!) Sometimes I can only watch 20 or 30 minutes of a movie at a time, spreading a single movie over three or four days; it's not always the ideal way to watch a film, but I squeeze them in as I can.

Like Raquelle, I have a "secret stash" of movies recorded from TCM; many of mine are housed in this closet alongside cooking magazines, paperback books, and my crockpot:

They're shelved alphabetically by the first movie on the tape, and I find what I'm looking for with the help of an Excel spreadsheet.

We also have a free-standing cupboard in our bedroom which contains more TCM recordings alongside "store bought" VHS tapes and what's left of my collection of Beta recordings. (I didn't own a VHS player until the mid-'90s! Happily, I've been able to buy many of the shows I'd recorded on Beta on DVD and I've gradually been discarding the Beta tapes. We still have a Beta player hooked up in our living room alongside DVD and VHS players.) I also have a large shelf of movies on loan from my father's extensive collection stored in that cupboard. The Excel spreadsheet is an invaluable way for us to keep track of who's got what movie.

Also like Raquelle, we have a Netflix account; when our daughter is at college she uses the account, and when she's home -- or in England, as she is this semester! -- we rotate the choices among the six of us. Sometimes the choices are related to our homeschool lessons; tomorrow, for instance, we're expecting the old SHAKESPEARE PLAYS production of THE TEMPEST, which my 10-year-old recently read in an abridged format.

(Note to self: don't assume just because "it's Shakespeare" that it's OK for all-family viewing. We recently Netflixed the 1999 MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and because of the subject matter I didn't pay attention to the rating, as I usually do. The children found it more than a little "surprising," and we think we'll stick to the Dick Powell-Olivia DeHavilland version in the future!)

So...that's a small peek at the collection behind "Tonight's Movie"!


Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Oh wow! Thanks for participating Laura. I added a link to your post on mine.

Your husband sure did a wonderful job. That is quite beautiful and it looks like it holds a lot.

I have done the Excel spreadsheet thing too, although mine is in dire need of updating.

5:04 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Very cool "behind the scenes" extra! I love the cabinet. How long did it take your husband to make it? Boy, if I had the cash to fly him out to build me one.... DVD Savant Glenn once posted similar pictures of his shelves. It's always fun to see these and try and see what's on their "Shelf" compared to mine. From what I can see, we have a lot of similar titles and sets- but I knew that already.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas Nordin said...

Hey! That's some nice woodwork! I would like someone to build me something like that. I'm in desperate need of a correct storage for DVD's and CDs which are stacked just about everywhere in my house.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Raquelle, it was a fun idea! Thanks very much for the reciprocal link.

My husband will appreciate all of your compliments on his woodwork. :) It works out rather well that our DVD hobby gives him an excuse to enjoy another of his hobbies! He has also built wall-to-wall bookshelves in our den (which should maybe be called the library!) and CD shelves.

J.C., it took several weeks, as he was juggling other responsibilities like heading up field maintenance for our Little League. The very lefthand section was actually built just last year, a couple years after the original sections; it was always in the game plan, but that allowed us to stagger out his time and our budget.

I enjoy seeing what's in other people's collections too! :)

Best wishes,

11:27 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

Put me in line for D to build shelves for also! ;-)


4:34 PM  
Blogger Ed South said...

It's nice to see other people are as obsessive/proud of their video collections as me!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Wow Laura, that's some serious shelving and movie collecting going on at your place. Beautiful craftsmanship, too. I always thoroughly enjoy your movie reviews, such a delicious reprieve from things like a sinking economy and plummeting 401k's!

9:45 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Missy, Ed and Dana, thanks for your notes! My husband will enjoy reading the comments. :) It's always nice to get to know other collectors, Ed! Dana, I'm so glad to know you enjoy the reviews. I've always loved movies, but they are sure a much-needed distraction these days, aren't they?! Time to start another one...

Best wishes,

10:40 PM  
Blogger mel said...

Looks really wonderful. Thanks for letting us take a peek.

I'd hate to show anyone mine, it's always such a mess....

11:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Mel, and thanks!

Raquelle has more links from participants, including Jonas who also has a very nice large collection of LP's!

Best wishes,

12:02 AM  
Blogger NoirGirl said...

Such beautiful cabinetry!

I'm happy to see that your son has his own little subset of DVDs. My brother does too. We have Macgyver, The Rat Pack, and many Jackie Chan movies.

I'm guilty of the VHS tapes, too. I've got my post up now, if you'd like to see. :)

I concur about that modern version of Midsummer Night's Dream. I tried to watch that once. Never again! I'm sticking with my dear old friends Dick Powell and Jimmy Cagney. :)

6:21 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Casey, I loved looking at your collection! I'll be spending some time tomorrow rereading your post more slowly. Great organization! Thanks for letting us know. :)

I was interested someone else had the same experience with the more recent version of MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM!

Best wishes,

12:03 AM  
Blogger Michele B. said...

It was such fun to see pictures of the home of your collections. Someday I'll get there and see for myself!

4:09 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Won't that be fun when you have the chance, Michele? :) Someday!


9:07 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

It's great to see your lovely shelves! I'd love to have this much room for my movies but I chose books instead. Yay for your daughter's Stargate collection! BTW, does she visit the GateWorld forums? My daughter's been hanging out there.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Mrs. HH!

I am very fortunate that we have another room where my husband built bookshelves. Storage is always an issue for those of us who love books and movies! :)

I know my daughter is a regular visitor to GateWorld but I'll have to ask if she participates on the forums --

Best wishes,

1:37 PM  

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