History of Vestron Video (1982-1992)

History of Vestron Video (1982-1992)

Vestron Video was a home video distributor and production company, located in Stamford, Conneticut.


Vestron was founded in 1981 by Austin Owens Furst Jr., an executive at HBO who had been hired to dismantle some assets of Time-Life: its theatrical, television, and video divisions. Furst quickly sold off the theatrical and television divisions, but was unable to sell the video division, and eventually decided to continue using it under another name. The name 'Vestron' was suggested by Furst's daughter, and was a combination of the Roman goddess Vesta and the Greek word 'Tron,' meaning 'instrument.'

In addition to the original Time-Life library, Vestron also distributed b-movies from Cannon Films. Eventually, Vestron began to shift towards more mainstream films, including those produced by their Vestron Pictures subsidiary, such as Dirty Dancing.

At one point in the mid-1980s, Vestron sold videos in over 30 countries and controlled 10% of the American video market. But by 1990, the public's preferences had shifted from watching almost any movie to only top quality films, which Vestron could not provide. The company's financiers backed out, and Vestron filed for bankruptcy in 1991. They were bought out by Live Entertainment of Los Angeles.

Present DayEdit

Vestron's library, which contains over 3,000 films, is currently controlled by Lions Gate Home Entertainment. The original Vestron VHS tapes are common and not particularly valuable, but are fondly remembered by many collectors.