14 Facts About Vestron Video


Vestron Video was the main subsidiary of Vestron, Inc, a home video company based in Stamford, Connecticut, that was active from 1981 to 1993, and is considered to have been a pioneer in the home video market.

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The most notable titles Vestron Video released were Dirty Dancing, Monster Squad, and An American Werewolf in London.

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In 1983, Vestron signed an agreement to license several of the films from Sherwood Productions, which was to be served for U S and Canadian video distribution.

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Also that year, Vestron Video signed a deal to pick up several feature films from Artists Releasing Corporation, namely Vigilante and The House on Sorority Row.

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Vestron Video went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1985 with what was, at the time, a large market cap initial public offering of $440 million, which was oversubscribed.

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On June 25,1986, the company had inked an agreement with film producer and distributor Hemdale Film Corporation, whereas Vestron would obtain home video rights to the Hemdale film library, for the North American region, such as Platoon, in an extension of the previous licensing agreement that saw the company to release films like Hoosiers and At Close Range.

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In 1986, Vestron Video was rumored to buy independent film distributor Producers Sales Organization, but the deal collapsed, shut PSO down outright, forced into bankruptcy, and instead launched Producers Distribution Organization, with its PSO employees hired by the studio.

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On October 15,1986, Vestron Video International had signed its own deals, in Italy with regional video distributor Domovideo, which covered 35 titles that would came from the Vestron catalog, including upcoming theatrical features, and in Korea with local video distributor Oasis Video Productions, with the first product covering multiple titles will be offered to video stores this fall.

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On November 26,1986, Vestron Video rejected a takeover bid from the magazine publisher National Lampoon, of which they tried to purchase earlier that year, and Vestron Video and National Lampoon received 1985 revenue, and seeking other alternatives in a takeover bid.

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In July 1987, Vestron Inc had exercised an option to purchase a Cincinnati-area video store The Video Store, which could consist of 10 stores and owner Jack Messer would gave them another 14 during the July–October period.

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That year, in August 1987, Vestron Video had promoted Michael Karaffa to sales vice president and Adam Platnick to business affairs vice president, while the company saw more layoffs that they wanted to go, including former executives, namely Raymond Bernstein and Gordon Bossin, which of them both had layoffs in May.

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In late November 1987, Vestron Video is revamping their distribution network to get rid of 9 out of 23 distributors and enrolling the 14 in a new "Vestron Advantage" program designed to gave the distributors more incentives and a means to market to sell Vestron tapes more efficiently and the strategy is carefully watched by the industry and could set a pattern for things to come at some competing program suppliers.

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Vestron Video sold off its TV holdings, including 160 films, TV specials and series to Pandora Group, which was based in Paris, in 1990 and decided to invest their money.

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Today, most of Vestron Video's holdings are owned by Lions Gate Entertainment, which acquired LIVE's forerunner company, Artisan Entertainment, in 2003.

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