Scarecrow Video has been a Seattle institution for many years. It started as a video rental store – and still is one – but it was owned by the kind of crazed film fanatics who run a business primarily as a way to build the biggest collection of things imaginable. The original owner was the sort of person who would fly on an hour’s notice to former Soviet republics on the rumour that he could get a SECAM videotape copy of a particular obscure Stalinist-era Belorussian film. And half the time, he’d return with it.
Despite having one of the largest film collections in the world – possibly the largest in the world – video rental doesn’t cut it anymore, so they’re going non-profit. But that’s expensive, too, so they’re launching a Kickstarter to make it happen. Go help.
I started renting from them when they were next to J&S Phonograph Needles in Roosevelt – yes that was a store for phonograph needles it didn’t make much sense them either – and remember when they moved to the U. District, on 50th and Roosevelt. They bought out what used to be the biggest Radio Shack ever, a multistory building with its own screening lounge and everything.
It’s pretty damn cool, and it’d be a disaster to lose such a comprehensive film collection – particularly as it is actually available to the public. Even the exotic stuff can be rented and/or screened – they have multiformat players available, too. In some cases, they have one of only three to four copies of films still in existence, and you can see it. That’s the kind of collection this is.
I’ve known one of the current owners for a long time; this project is a big deal for them, too. So go help them flip that switch to non-profit. As I write this, they’ve made 60% of goal in a day, thanks in no small part to The Onion‘s AV Club. Let’s see if we can’t get them there by tomorrow, eh?
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Wow. I was just going to write a post about this myself, having just learned about the Kickstarter the other day, but now I don’t have to because Solarbird has said it all!
For the record, I have been a long time employee of Scarecrow Video and it is the most amazing place for movies there is. It should be a historic landmark in Seattle! Let’s help keep it alive and kicking!!
Two of our good friends, including our best man at our wedding, were managers at Scarecrow for years. It’s where one of them met his wife. She was a customer, he was the cute, oblivious guy behind the counter. Fifteen years or so and two kids later, they’re still adorable enough together to be worth a movie of their own.
Scarecrow is more than just a video store, as indicated above. It’s a comprehensive collection of film and television from around the globe made accessible. When I say around the globe, I mean it, by the way. Their international section is glorious.
Keeping that vision alive, well, that’s huge.
My email update this morning says they’re at about 70% after day one. (Brian and Ed were on this basically instantly yesterday, passing the news and the Kickstarter link along to the rest of us, which is pretty amazing, considering I think Ed’s still driving a moving van out to DC right now.)
If you’ve got a buck or five to spare for arts preservation, trust me: this is worth it.