The 1990s marked a golden era in cinema, producing classics that remain etched in the hearts of movie lovers even today. This decade was characterized by groundbreaking storylines, iconic performances, and distinctive set elements, which have since evolved or disappeared in the face of modern cinematic trends. Let’s go back in time, shall we?
Remember when pagers were the coolest thing to have? In many of the ’90s movie plots, characters had to use a pager to communicate with one another. This device allowed people to send short messages back and forth, providing an efficient way to communicate with friends and family before the invention of cell phones, but now they are just a relic.
The invention of VHS tapes was a game-changer in the ’90s. It made watching your favorite movies at home easier and opened up a new entertainment world for viewers. Although DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and streaming services like Netflix have replaced VHS tapes, these tapes still hold a special place in our hearts. And if you have them, you could earn a pretty penny in the resale market.
Popcorn Ceilings, or acoustic ceilings, were a signature of class in the ’90s. It was a cheap and easy way to make your house look modern without changing anything. But now, these ceilings are seen as outdated and many homeowners are tearing them down in favor of something more modern.
Walkman Cassette Players
Walkman cassette players were the must-have accessory during the ’90s. It was a great way to listen to your favorite music wherever you went without lugging around a boombox or stereo system. However, with the invention of CD players and mp3 devices, these have become obsolete today.
The Fanny Pack
Fanny packs were all the rage in the ’90s, and movie characters don them. They were a convenient way to store belongings like keys, wallets, and phones without carrying a full-sized bag. Nowadays, we use backpacks and cross-body bags instead, as they offer both fashion and practicality.
Mood rings were a popular fashion accessory in the ’90s that supposedly changed colors depending on your feelings. They were often seen as part of movie characters’ outfits and had various colors. But these have been replaced by other jewelry trends, such as chokers and friendship bracelets.
Cordless phones have always existed, but before they became popularized in the mid-to-late 1990s, most households had large and bulky corded phones attached to their walls. More modern models have since phased them out, but you can still find these old-fashioned corded phones in some ’90s movies.
Colorful clothing was a defining aspect of 90s fashion trends, with characters routinely wearing bright neon to garish floral clothes in films. But today’s fashion trends are more focused on subdued and neutral colors such as black, white, and beige. Also, patterns like stripes, polka dots, and checks add interest without the boldness of the 90s.
Karaoke machines used to be the centerpiece of many ’90s parties, allowing guests to sing along with their favorite songs. You would hardly find these in some bars and arcades today as streaming services like Spotify that make it easier and more affordable to listen to your favorite tunes are the current favorites.
Mini blinds, also known as Venetian blinds, were the go-to window treatments in ’90s movies. They provided privacy while allowing natural light into a room. Also, they added a contemporary look to any home. Today, sheer curtains and shutters are more popular options for windows.
Fax machines were the primary means of communication before the introduction of email. Characters in ’90s movies would use them to send important documents, but they are now outdated due to digital communication. Today, electronic document sharing is the preferred way to communicate.
Characters from ’90s movies often used manual juicers to make fresh juice. Now, electric juicers are the norm as they save time and effort. Still, nothing beats the nostalgia of squeezing lemons and oranges with those old manual juicers.
Back in the day, people and movie characters used an answering machine to record and leave messages for each other when they weren’t available or to replay a message they’d received. However, these machines are no longer in use since cell phones can do the same job and more.
Telephone directories were an invaluable reference for many people in the ’90s. In movies, actors and actresses used these directories to find phone numbers, addresses of people they wanted to call, and other information like store hours or local events. Online contact databases that are readily available on the Internet and kept current have replaced those directories.
VCRs were a revolutionary invention in the 90s that allowed people to watch movies at home without going out. They could also record shows or rewind and pause live TV. Despite the convenience of VCRs, DVD players and streaming services have phased out these bulky devices due to their limited capabilities.
Black and White Television
Some movies set in the ’90s featured black and white television sets. These TV sets had limited functions and often produced deteriorated images due to low-quality reception. Although these were a great viewing experience at the time, high-definition televisions with higher resolutions and better sound quality have become the norm.
Lunchboxes were an essential item for kids during the ’90s. Most kids had a metal lunchbox with their favorite cartoon character on it. These days, people use paper bags instead as they are more environmentally friendly and easier to carry around.
In some ’90s movie plots, people used electric typewriters instead of a computer to type up their documents. These machines took longer to print documents than modern computers and were prone to jamming if the paper did not align correctly. These typewriters are now obsolete because you can quickly produce typed documents with a computer.
Jelly shoes, made from a squishy outer shell of PVC plastic, are a brightly colored and see-through foot-wear. These shoes were a fashion trend in the ’90s, but more stylish options like boots, sandals, and flats that offer better protection and comfort for walking are the norm now.
Atari Video Games
Atari video games were popular in the late ’90s, and kids often played these arcade-style games in real life and movies as there was no Internet or video streaming services at the time. Today’s generation has forgotten Atari games with the emergence of more advanced gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation.
Using a Map for Directions
Before the GPS navigation system, people relied on maps to get from one place to another. Characters in ’90s movies often used maps to plan their route and get directions. With the advancement of technology, we now rely on GPS apps for navigation and Google Maps to find our way around on foot or in a car.
Mixtapes used to be the best way to show someone how much you cared. In ’90s movies, characters would give mixtapes as presents or exchange them with friends and family. The popularity of digital music has made physical music collections unnecessary, as you can now easily share a playlist online.
Gigantic Cell Phones
Cell phones in the ’90s were huge compared to today’s standards. They had limited features, such as text messaging and basic gaming apps, but today we have smartphones that can do much more. Also, people held their phones differently then than we do now; they spoke into the top of the phone instead of holding it alongside their mouth.
Retro boomboxes had a unique look about them and were popular in ’90s movies. They provided an inexpensive way to listen to music anywhere since they didn’t require wires or electricity. Today, we use portable Bluetooth speakers, which are more lightweight than retro boomboxes and offer better sound quality.
Encyclopedia sets were the go-to source for reference material in the ’90s. Many movies showed characters consulting these books to find information about something they didn’t know. Now, we can access a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips through online sources like Wikipedia and Google.
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