Anatomy of an Entertainment Center

Our friend Raquelle at Out of the Past issued a challenge to her fellow classic film lovers to give a tour of our entertainment centers to the bloggie world.  One common thread I’ve noticed so far is how we all watch so many films, and obviously spend quite a bit of time in front of our sets, but several of the responders (including myself) are not luxuriating in a huge, plasma flat screen set.  We’re making due with our ancient tellies and finding them completely adequate.

Well, enough of these musings – on to the tour! (btw-I’ll be referring to stuff as “ours” because none of this is actually mine – it belongs to our family.  I have a care taking relationship with all of it, though, so it’s sort of mine.)


Our tv is awfully old. Probably at least ten years.  It’s a Sony and actually it is flat screen.  I’ve tried find reasons to talk myself into getting a new one, but this one works just fine and has no intention of breaking anytime soon.  It lives in a cupboard which hides as much of its ugliness as possible.  (Have you ever noticed how ugly electronics are?   The person who makes electronics visually pleasing will make a fortune.)  Note on the left side – that’s my movie notebook.  On the right side are my Mom’s precious Julia Child DVDs.  They hold that place of honor because they are played a lot in our house. :)

Under the tv is a cupboard with doors that hides the satellite box, dvd/vcr players and part of my enormous, embarrassing collection of VHS tapes (image on the right of TV image).

Secret VHS Stash

Here’s a shot of the rest of my VHS collection.  I’m a notorious organizer, so my VHS collection is cataloged.  Each tape has a number, which is recorded in a notebook I keep by the tv.  I write down all the titles on this list, and have an alphabetical version on my computer.  These are my “films worth saving.”  This list has grown and grown and grown – to the point where I have 155 tapes in this library right now.  I think I’m going to adopt Raquelle and Jonas’ method of labeling the side of the box, instead of the front.  It would save tons of space!


My notebook – just a three ring binder that I covered in wallpaper so it would be worthy of what it was meant to hold.  It has my current copy of Now Playing, along with a smaller notebook where I write down each day’s movie recordings.  If I didn’t write it down, I’d never remember to set everything up.


These are my film catalog lists.  The handwritten one is arranged according to the number of the tape.  The typed one is each title arranged in alphabetical order.  Titles in green are Christmas films (a new feature I came up with this year!).  The red ones are films I have on more than one tape – duplicates.



Our DVD collection: it’s scattered around partly for lack of enough space in one area, partly for easy access.  Most of the collection is stored in the huge windowseat in our library. (Yup, we actually have a room in our house called “The Library” – we really do keep all of our books in this room, too.)  The rest of the DVDs are around the tv in smaller cupboards on the sides – organized by genre mostly.  British-made (Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Miss Marple (the ones from the 80s – not those new ones), Danger UXB, Upstairs, Downstairs and Pride & Prejudice, of course), Film Noir, General Classic (The Andy Griffith Show, The Avengers), etc.  You can see our much loved sets of Nero Wolfe DVDs on the shelf.  The show starring Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin was fabulous and so underrated!dvd windowseat

This is such a fun idea.  Thanks for suggesting it, Raquelle!


Filed under Film Bloggers, Noir

10 responses to “Anatomy of an Entertainment Center

  1. Wow. You are super-ultra-organized woman. I could take a few lessons from you for sure.

    The end-of-the-box labeling is a space saver for sure. I also label mine on the long side like you do.

    Just in looking at everyone’s DVD & tape collection, mine looks miniscule in comparison. :-)

    Thanks for participating. I added your link to my original post.

  2. Oh Raquelle – You don’t need any lessons in organization. I thought your collection was quite well organized!

    I’m so glad you posted about that small side labeling. I wouldn’t have thought of that, and it’s such a great idea. :)

    You’re probably the smartest out of all of us if you have less DVDs, since apparently they are a dying breed. You know, I always wonder – What’s the big deal with Blu-Ray? Is it just superior picture quality?

    My pleasure, I love playing along. We’ve got to come up with another fun one! Thanks for the link!

  3. Wow, you have such a neat collection! I think somehow I missed Raquelle’s original post, because I’d love to take pictures of my collection too :)

    DVD is a dying breed????? I sure hope not!! After about eight years of recording hundreds of VHS tapes, I scrimped and saved to buy a VHS to DVD recorder and have been slowly transferring all of my VHS tapes to DVD. Now I’ll have to switch again? Say it isn’t so!!

    Wouldn’t superior picture quality blu-ray discs be sort of pointless anyway for movies that were recorded 75 years ago? I can’t see TCM HD either…

    Anyway! It’s nice to see your catalog & numbered VHS tapes… I’m not alone in my wacky obsessive movie organization :) I am the most disorganized person on earth, but when it comes to my previous movies it’s like I have OCD..


    I’m a newcomer to this site, but I too just want to say how impressed I am with your thorough organization.

    I also want to say two cents worth about Blu-Ray–I’ve become a recent convert, but not because of older titles. Our older tapes and DVDs with movies from earlier eras are perfectly fine staying in that format. For me, Blu-Ray is best for new theatrical releases which can best maximize Blu-Ray’s potential. On the other hand, we will be seeing superlative makeovers of key classics, such as GONE WITH THE WIND, WIZARD OF OZ onto Blu-Ray which promises to be revelatory, but films given this expensive treatment, such vintage selections will be rather few and far between. So, depending on your library, DVDs will be fine for a long time. Hey, and I still tape stuff on a VCR!

  5. Kate – I’m so glad you found my post in time to play along! I for one have no intention of switching to Blu-Ray. They can keep it. I agree that it seems rather pointless. TCM HD sounds so funny! I’m actually laughing out loud at the idea of that. :) You totally beat me on the organization. Binders and Excel spreadsheets! You make me feel like I’ve got to try harder. ;)

    Hi King of Jazz! Welcome to my little corner of blogland! Thank you kindly for your compliments about my organization. You cleared up a mystery for me about Blu-Ray that has bugged me for awhile! I agree that Blu-Ray is probably best for the new releases, since all those films have such a rich visual presence. I’m so glad my precious DVDs are safe for now. And, while we’re at it, yay for VCRs!



    Glad to help with my alleged wisdom! As with many people though, I’ve been transferring VHS tapes to DVD for the past five years. It’ll be quite awhile before Blu-Ray becomes a significant collection for me , and it’ll probably never match the diverse quantity of my beloved DVDs.

  7. I very much enjoyed the peek into your collection — I spotted some titles familiar from my own shelves. :) It’s also fun to see so many videos; I didn’t photograph my overflowing “video cupboard” since my husband was asleep in that room at the time I wrote the post (grin).

    Very nice organization! My dad had suggested I do a Part 2 on how my collection is organized in Excel; perhaps I will at some point…

    Thanks again for sharing these great photos!

    Best wishes,

  8. Laura – I’m so glad you liked the post! I’m amazed at how many of the classic film connoisseurs have a filing system for their treasured films, as I do. I thought I was being ridiculous for keeping such records, but I am relived to find I’m not the only one! I’d love to see your spreadsheets. I’ve already gotten one terrific organizational idea from this project, so maybe I could learn something from you, too. :)


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