Rewind, Replay: Britain and the Video Boom, 1978-92

Johnny Walker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Charts the introduction and rise of video entertainment in Britain from the launch of Betamax and VHS in 1978 to the development of the video superstore in the early 1990s

Presents the first book dedicated to Britain’s video boom
Considers the development of the video distribution industry in the UK, identifying the key players
Appraises the development of video shops and clubs, from the late 1970s to arrival of Blockbuster

Rewind, Replay is the first history of Britain’s video boom. It considers the earliest video distributors who, from the late 1970s, took chances on a wide range of films and other programmes to attract consumer interest. It also addresses the phenomenon of the video shop, the speed with which video rental became a habitual practice among the British public, and the key industry players who, at the height of a recession, invested wholesale into what contemporaneous media reportage was describing as a mere ‘plaything’.

Media historian Johnny Walker explores how distributors and store owners navigated various pressures including piracy, the video nasties moral panic and market rationalisation, as well as significant developments including the introduction of new legislation bespoke to the video medium and the corporate expansion of the industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to show how the pre-recorded videocassette, over the course of a few years, became a staple of high street retail.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9781474454506, 9781474454490
ISBN (Print)9781474454483, 9781474454476
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022

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