So, how expensive were LaserDiscs in the 90s?

I see this question pop up, every now and again, from people who are just starting to get into collecting LaserDiscs.  Well, just this evening, we were settling in to watch one of the LaserDiscs that we recently acquired.  And when I took the disc out of it’s sleeve, this came out with it:

MGM 1990 LaserDisc Catalog
MGM 1990 LaserDisc Catalog

It’s a advertising insert from MGM, listing the LaserDiscs in their 1990 library available for purchase.  More importantly, on the reverse side, there were suggested retail prices for the titles they listed.

MGM LaserDisc Catalog Prices
MGM LaserDisc Catalog Prices

Looking through the list, it appeared to me that the average price of movies on LaserDisc, at least from MGM, was at around US$35.00.  In fine print, at the bottom of the sheet, it stated that many of the prices were slightly higher in Canada.  So, one can safely assume that, in Canadian dollars, the suggested retail price for a movie on LaserDisc fell well in the rage of $40.00 to $45.00.

According to the DollarTimes.com website, $35.00 (U.S. dollars) in 1990 roughly comes out to about $70.00 in 2020, after taking inflation into account.  Pretty pricey for one movie.  This is why I really couldn’t afford to buy many movies on LaserDisc, back “in the day”.  Each LaserDisc purchase I made back then had to be for a movie I really wanted.

It really is kind of amazing for me to be reminded of what we were paying back then for a LaserDisc.  I’m glad to find this small piece of history hidden within one of my LaserDiscs.

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