The 1980s, a glorious and somewhat infamous period in cinematic history, introduced us to a myriad of iconic films and, along with them, a host of elements that have since disappeared from modern sets.
From clunky tech gadgets to outrageous fashion trends, and cassettes to vintage cars, these components added a unique flavor to ’80s movies. As technology and societal norms have progressed, many of these have vanished, making them nostalgic relics when revisiting those classic films today.
These elements have now become a part of cinematic history.
Cassettes were everywhere in the ’80s, appearing in many movies from the time. From the classic rock songs blasting out of cars to the mix tapes characters gave each other as gifts, cassettes kept things interesting for audiences. But with CDs slowly taking over in the late ’90s, cassettes quickly became obsolete and almost forgotten.
Walkmans were all the rage in the ’80s, and characters would often be seen carrying them around and listening to their favorite songs. They were even featured in cult classics like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Unfortunately, they’ve been replaced by iPods and other streaming devices that offer much better sound quality.
Floppy disks were the go-to storage device in the ’80s, and we saw them used for everything from checking email to transferring files. They even served as a plot point in movies like WarGames, where Matthew Broderick’s character used one to hack into a military supercomputer. Floppy disks have been replaced with flash drives and cloud storage, and they’re now a thing of the past.
In ’80s movies, portable typewriters were a common sight. Characters wrote their stories and letters on them, and they usually had a satisfying click-clack sound that gave scenes an extra bit of atmosphere. But with the rise of computers in the early ’90s, these typewriters quickly disappeared from movie sets and our homes.
Payphones were everywhere in the ’80s and were a common sight in movies. Characters would often be seen making calls at payphones, and many times, it was also used to set up meetings between characters. But with everyone having cell phones nowadays, payphones have become obsolete and are no longer seen in movies.
Pagers were all the rage in the ’80s, and many characters would be seen carrying one around, often with their friends’ numbers stored in it. They became a key plot point in movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where they used it to communicate with each other while pretending to be sick. Today, pagers are hardly seen on set or in life.
VHS tapes were one of the most popular ways to watch movies in the ’80s, often seen in films from the time. However, they quickly fell out of favor with audiences when DVDs started taking over in the late ’90s. VHS tapes, now a relic of the past, have since been replaced with Blu-ray discs.
Tube TVs were everywhere in the ’80s and often featured prominently in movies from that period. But with flat-screen TVs becoming increasingly popular over the years, tube TVs have disappeared from sets. However, they remain a classic piece of technology, and their retro look is often used to give scenes a nostalgic vibe.
You know, back in the ’80s, walkie-talkies were everywhere in movies! Characters would always use them to chat and keep tabs on each other. They were perfect for sneaking around. But nowadays, with cell phones being so common, you hardly ever see walkie-talkies on set anymore. Funny how things change, huh?
Dress Shirts with Shoulder Pads
In the ’80s, shoulder pads were a major fashion trend, and finding a dress shirt without them was hard. They appeared in many movies from the time, often as part of a character’s costume. However, they quickly fell out of favor with audiences and are rarely seen in movies or people.
Landlines were the go-to way of making calls in the ’80s, and they appeared prominently in many movies. Characters would often be seen talking about them or using them to set up meetings. But with everyone using cell phones nowadays, landlines have become a rare sight in sets and our homes.
Rotary phones, a timeless technological relic, often made nostalgic appearances in films of yesteryears. Their satisfying click-click sound added a certain charm to the ambiance. But today, traditional rotary phones have become relics of the past due to the growing popularity of push-button telephones.
During the 1980s, Atari consoles reigned supreme as one of the most beloved platforms for playing video games. These iconic gaming devices even made frequent appearances in movies of that era. However, more sophisticated systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System led to the gradual vanishing of Atari consoles from the silver screen.
Video Rental Stores
In the ’80s, video rental stores were a ubiquitous presence. Characters would frequently rush to these stores to rent movies or meet up. Video rental stores became obsolete relics of the past with the rising popularity of streaming services like Netflix.
In the 1980s, paper maps were indispensable navigation tools, frequently employed by movie characters to find their way. Iconic films, such as The Goonies and ET, prominently showcased the use of paper maps. However, as GPS systems gained popularity, the presence of paper maps gradually diminished from movie sets.
More From Inspired by Insiders
Everyone wants respect, yet only some earn it. Your attitude and behavior can be the deciding factor in whether or not people respect you. Respect isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about how you present yourself and interact with others. Don’t do these things, and people will respect you.
11 Things Boomers Need to Stop Saying to Millennials
The generational differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials can often make communication difficult. Even with the best of intentions, there are certain things that Boomers should avoid saying to Millennials to maintain a respectful relationship. What are they?
15 Things Only People Who Lived in the 1970s Will Remember
Whether you grew up in the United States or abroad, there was something special about this time that many people fondly remember. From extraordinary fashion trends to iconic music, here are 15 things that only people who lived in the 1970s will remember.
10 Things to Never Buy at a Thrift Store
Thrift stores offer excellent opportunities to find unique and valuable items at a bargain, but they also can be a source of unwanted items and expensive mistakes. To help you avoid the latter, here are ten things that should never make their way into your home from a thrift store, no matter how low their prices are.
25 Bad Habits to Quit Now
We all have bad habits, some of which can be incredibly difficult to break, but it’s possible with the right steps. The first step is recognizing the habit you want to quit before resolving to make a change. Here are 25 bad habits you need to quit right now!
This article was produced on Inspired by Insiders.