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 then 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.
This is a small fraction of their collection.
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?