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Vestron Video

Vestron Video

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Published by: MIDNITECAMPZ on Jan 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Vestron Video
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vestron Video logo, from 1987
Vestron Video
was the main subsidiary of 
Vestron, Inc.
, a home video company based in Stamford, Connecticut that was active from 1981 to 1992. It is considered to have been a pioneer in the home video market.
Vestron was founded in 1981 by Austin Owen Furst, Jr. (born 1943), an executive atHBO,who was hired to dismantle some assets of  Time-Life:its theatrical, television, and home video divisions. Although he had no problem selling off the former twoassets, Furst was having a hard time selling off the latter, and eventually decided to keepand rename the video division. Furst's daughter suggested "Vestron", named after theRoman goddess Vesta and "Tron", which means "instrument" in Greek . 
 The company held on to its Time-Life Video library, and was also responsible forreleases on VHS videocassette of mostly B movies and films from Cannon Films'  library. The most notable titles Vestron released were 
, and 
.In later years, the company began to shifttowards mainstream films, including films released through their Vestron Pictures  subsidiary, most notably 
.The company was the first company to releaseNational Geographic videos in the late 1980s, and was the first to market with a prowrestling video, "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Presents Lords of the Ring". They alsoreleased a 3-volume series called "How to Beat Home Video Games", which containsstrategies for video games of the time.
Vestron went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1985 with what was at the time a large market cap IPO of $440MM, which was oversubscribed. The companyenjoyed success for several years, at one point exceeding 10% of the US video moviemarket. At its high point sales approximated $350MM annually, and the company soldvideo movies in over 30 countries either directly or through sub licensing agreements.This was basically a rights business, built by some insightful people who appreciatedthe video(VCR)rights to films before the major studios did.
Eventually themajor studios smartened up, and film product became increasingly harder for Vestron toacquire. Also, independent producers increased the price of those available.The company started to make its own films(
), but when the market's preferences matured and shifted from watching almost anyfilm to just watching "A" titles, for which the majors had a stronghold, the companywas committed already with a pipeline of about 20 "B" to low "A" projects. Financingfor the company fell through and it eventually filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11,  and was bought out on January 11, 1991 by Los Angeles-based LIVE Entertainment,a home video and music company, for $27.3 million. LIVE acquired Vestron's extensive(3,000 plus) film library.Their international divisions were the second largest just after Warner Bros. It had many direct theatrical, video and TV distribution offices all around the world in majormarkets and owned a video manufacturing plant in the Netherlands to supply Europeanmarkets. Today, most of the holdings of Vestron Video are now owned by Lions GateEntertainment. 
Vestron, Inc.'s subsidiaries included:
Vestron Video
Vestron Music Video
Vestron International Group
Vestron Television
, whose most notable production was a television seriesbased on
Vestron Video International
Children's Video Library
(1983-1987): Children's/family video sub-label.
Lightning Video
(1985-1990): genre sub-label.
Lightning Pictures
Interaccess Film Distribution
: Overseas distribution unit.

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