Is It Wrong To Envy This 1987 Birthday Party Home Video?
Here on Retro Thing, we celebrate home movies a lot - mostly the all-but-gone film variety. Though a much more recent innovation, home videos are in even more danger of disappearing. Video tape is less hardy than film, and the pictures tend to disappear off the tape over the years. While we could argue the aesthetic merits of film versus video forever, in the 80's video did offer color and sound more affordably than ever before. While this resulted in epic home video nights even more interminable than uncle John's slides from Beloit, in the right hands a home video could capture a lot of great moments.
Retro Thing reader Matt Simantov sent us the video from his 6th birthday in 1987. Instead of having a pre-fab party at Chuck E. Cheese, Matt's folks had something different in mind. The party was held at Jeremy's Place, a crazy fun party venue known to the kids of New York as the place to celebrate that special day. There's a lot going on, Jeremy clearly knows how to throw a do, mini-Catskills style. There are glow-in-the-dark stickers, Garbage Pail Kids, a robot at about 27 minutes into the video (I don't remember robots at any of my birthdays), and kid-sized comedy that somehow keeps the under six set relatively well behaved. Jeremy knows what works.
I didn't think that I'd be as enthralled as I was by someone else's home video (strangers' home films are easy to get into since they're only 3 minutes long), but I had to watch this 35 minute tape all the way through. I felt like I got a lot of kid-wrangling tips along the way. The video is part of the package when you celebrated at Jeremy's place (freeing up the family to enjoy the party instead of struggling with the cinematography). They did a nice job with getting a good picture, and doing some editing to create a nice tape. This is exactly the kind of thing that home video is great at capturing. Even if you only watch a few minutes, you'll enjoy with a smile.
Thanks for the video, Matt!