I was one of the first of my friends group to really get into “home theater” — at least, as much as I could in the mid-’90s on a financially questionable 20-something’s budget. Our apartment had a big-screen rear-projection TV (bought used, of course), later replaced with a (ridiculously huge) three-beam projector sourced from a bar that was closing down, an early surround sound system, and I started collecting widescreen movies with the special edition of The Abyss on widescreen VHS. I had a pretty decent widescreen VHS collection before finally upgrading to DVD.
At one point, Chad and I were sitting around, bored, and looking for something to watch. “I’ve got The Crow,” says Chad. Sounded good to me, so he went to grab it. And pulled out his copy — a home VHS tape, with the movie taped off of TV, over something else, in broadcast pan-and-scan, and probably in mono. He popped it in, and we started watching.
About ten minutes in, suddenly he turns to me and spouts off with a hearty and apparently random, “Fuck you!”
“What the hell?” I said.
“Until I lived with you, I didn’t care about widescreen, or surround sound, or any of that. I’d just watch the movie. You’ve ruined me!” And as I laughed, he turned off the movie in amused disgust. And it wasn’t too long before the widescreen DVD found its way into the collection.