Video Yesteryear of Sandy Hook, Connecticut was the largest catalog retailer of public domain films on VHS, Betamax, and 8mm film beginning in 1978. Originally known as Radio Yesteryear from 1967, the company distributed old radio shows on LP records, audio cassettes.,reel-to-reel and for a short time 8 track tape.
Radio Yesteryear began to release radio shows in 1970 in LP form on their 'Radiola Records' imprint. Later they released records under a second imprint called 'Sandy Hook Records' which was designated as a 'music only' label. They released music broadcasts, film soundtracks and reissued commercial recordings that had been out of print for many years.
When LP's began to be phased out, Radiola and Sandy Hook became a 'cassette only' format. Shortly before the sale of the company they started experimenting with the CD format.
They released 'custom tapes' of radio programs from their archive. At $12 per hour a customer could select shows to add to their own collections. They also began a catalogue of shows called GOLDIN RADIO LIBRARY which eventually contained hundreds of preselected shows on cassette. The 'Goldin' spelling is from the name of the company founder, J. David Goldin.
They also started a cassette/CD reissue series called STACKS of 78s that contained recordings from their collection of 78's. Most of these had been out of print recordings that had been unavailable for many years. They made no effort at sound restoration so some of the releases had a lot of scratch and surface noise.
As 'Video Yesteryear', they are best known for presenting silent films and slower speeds than a standard 16mm projector would normally show, bringing the early films closer to their silent film running time. This process was known as Video Accu-Speed and described as a "prism optical" process. It unfortunately had the effect of making the film darker the closer it got to the edges. Their silent film releases also included original organ scores composed and performed by Rosa Rio (1902–2010), who had been a theatre organist during the silent era.
The company was purchased by Audio Book Club in 1998.
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