In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Internet has changed the media industry. Blockbuster and Hollywood Video went bankrupt. And our Scarecrow Video (a Wallyhood sponsor) has been struggling, as well.
But unlike Blockbuster and Hollywood, Scarecrow believes it still has a place in the post-VHS world:
The past 25 years have seen Scarecrow’s collection grow from 600 titles to over 120,000, to become the single largest library of VHS, laserdiscs, VCDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. In fact, it’s very likely the largest single archive of movies in the world…With the explosion of home video in the 1980’s came the birth of the direct-to-video industry. Countless direct-to-video films have never been released as16mm or 35mm prints. Thousands of these films never made the jump to DVD, and continue to be overlooked during the digital migration. Scarecrow keeps these nearly lost classics alive and available to viewers.
But, with revenue tumbling, they know they can’t keep the doors open under the existing model.
That’s why they’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund the “The Scarecrow Project, a new non-profit which proposes to assume management of Scarecrow Video to preserve and grow the vast library.”
The Grand Illusion Cinema, also a non-profit, will become the fiscal sponsor of the Scarecrow Project, and the existing owners will donate Scarecrow’s existing video collection to the new entity. If successful, the existing Scarecrow storefront will remain open and active:
In the last year The Screening Room has hosted DVD release parties, interactive press screenings, book signings, local film previews, shadow puppet shows, and presentations by Seattle art legend Larry Reid, Troma film founder Lloyd Kaufman, and Oscar winning film editor Thelma Schoomaker. With something going on every night of the week, one can also find free movie screenings, weekly trivia nights, fan meet-ups, and film club nights. But this is just the beginning. It is just laying the foundation for The Screening Room to reach its full potential with more events with local filmmakers, more collaborative, cross-purpose events, more guest visitors/speakers, and even more innovative ways to use the space that haven’t even been dreamed of yet.
Want to give them a kick? Check out the Scarecrow Project Kickstarter page.
As of this writing, they are 60% of their way to their $100,000 goal.
(Photo by Lairdcrumb)