In the age of Netflix, iTunes and the cleverly named “Amazon Instant Video”, when Blockbuster Video has gone bust, is it any wonder that the video brick-and-mortar icon Scarecrow Video should be up on the ropes?
Sort of. I mean, there are about ten bazillion videos out there, and Scarecrow carries about 120,000 of them. By contrast, iTunes has about 3,500.
But, on the ropes it is. Rentals are down 40%, and, according to KOMO, “store officials say this holiday season could be make-or-break for the business.”
But according to Kate Barr from Scarecrow, this grim news has been overshadowing on important fact:
Scarecrow is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this December!!
We’re setting aside our current worries and pulling out all the stops for a weekend long celebration starting Friday, December 6th and ending Sunday, December 8th.
In the midst of our struggle to keep this Seattle landmark around, we invite one and all to join us in celebrating all of our achievements in the last 25 years – and our continued hope for another 25 years to come.
Scarecrow’s press release gives some background on the film mecca:
On December 9, 1988 (promptly at noon) Scarecrow Video was born with one simple mission: unite people with film. Containing an inventory of 600 titles procured by George Latsios, the original Latona store location was but a ripple in the lake that would become Scarecrow. Seven customers signed up that day (four of whom we’re pleased to still have with us), 18 titles were rented, and the store’s first $38.98 was made. George, along with his wife Rebecca, continued to aggressively expand the rental inventory, as well as their staff. In November of 1994, Scarecrow was forced to look for a larger house to accommodate its then 18,000 titles, and moved down the street to its current location at 5030 Roosevelt Way. In 1997, Scarecrow became one of the first video stores in Seattle to add a major DVD section reinforcing its ethos to evolve in the new directions of cinema. In 1999, as a result of financial and health concerns, George and Rebecca transferred ownership of Scarecrow to Carl Tostevin and John Dauphiny, two long-time customers and avid movie lovers, with their promise to maintain its mission, and the next chapter in Scarecrow’s history began.
The last fifteen years have seen many more changes at Scarecrow. In late 2006, Blu-rays were introduced. Co-owner John Dauphiny exited and Carl’s wife, Mickey McDonough, entered. The inventory continues to grow and is now at an astounding 120,000 titles, a collection unmatched anywhere in the world. In addition to rentals, Scarecrow offers one of the largest browsing selections of DVDs and Blu-rays for sale in Seattle including unusual, rare and hard to find titles. 2011 saw the expansion of the Scarecrow experience by adding a coffee kiosk to encourage customers to stay awhile and, in 2012, a Screening Room was built to offer a larger space for customers to sample our impressive collection and connect film-lovers with each other. After 25 years of hard work weathering the ups and downs and always staying true to our mission of bringing people and film together, we have a lot to celebrate!
The weekend of festivities will commence on Friday, December 6th and will include:
- Big sales on New & Used titles including:
- 50% off all used items
- $1.00 VHS and Laserdiscs
- $3.00 off all Criterion titles
- Mark downs on select box sets and out of print titles
- $35 punchcards
- Raffles & giveaways
- Scavenger hunts
- On-going screenings of George’s, Rebecca’s and Carl & Mickey’s all-time favorite movies
Come celebrate with us! What was the first film you ever rented at Scarecrow? Come and tell us, and share your favorite Scarecrow memories. Haven’t heard of Scarecrow or been in yet? Come discover us for the first time! Long-time or new, young or old, come be a part of the beginning of the future of this world famous, one-of-a-kind film experience that can only be found here in Seattle.
“[Scarecrow is] like this last great bastion of everything ever made.”
– John Jacobson, co-founder of The Film School – KOMOnews.com
“Back in the days when I was involved with Microsoft Cinemania, I discovered Scarecrow and was amazed by its selection and the knowledge and passion of the staff. They don’t settle for putting a display of the latest big hit inside the door, but attract the curious, the adventurous and the obsessed movie buffs. The store is not only a resource, but a social center, where you can discover you are not the only person who loves Ozu, or Guy Maddin.”
– Roger Ebert – quoted in a Seattle Times article (11/07/04)
Stop in. Do it for Roger!
(Scarecrow Video is a Wallyhood sponsor. Photo of Scarecrow aisle by Leigh Kelsey. Photo of David Lynch at Scarecrow by Michelle Hudson)