Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
In December 2013, David Chen released a short documentary on /Film titled Scarecrow Video: An Inside Look at the World’s Biggest Independent Video Store (watch that video here). Scarecrow Video in Seattle is the largest independent video store on the planet. The store is not just a collection of movies trapped in old physical media, but many of the films available at Scarcrow are rare and not elsewhere. Scarecrow is revered and admired, counting filmmakers like Bernardo Bertolucci and Quentin Tarantino as previous visitors. And now Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League has teamed up with Scarecrow Video to form a non-profit collective to preserve the world’s largest “home video” collection of film and television with over 120,000 VHS, laserdiscs, VCDs, DVDs and Blu-ray titles. They have launched a kickstarter to help raise the funds to make this future a reality. Learn more, after the jump.
The press release follows:
Scarecrow Video Announces Plans To Save The World’s Largest Independent Movie Library
“The Scarecrow Project” Non-Profit Launches On Kickstarter
Seattle, WA – August 12, 2014 – Scarecrow Video, the venerated Seattle-based video store, is donating its library to a non-profit collective in an effort to preserve the world’s largest “home video” collection of film and television with over 120,000 VHS, laserdiscs, VCDs, DVDs and Blu-ray titles.The Scarecrow Project has launched a Kickstarter campaign to aid in the creation of the non-profit, ensuring this collection’s survival, which includes many rare titles and some titles that are the only known copies in existence outside of private ownership. The public’s support is needed to make this transition to non-profit with a donation here.
The transition of the video store to streaming & vending machine services has been chronicled widely, but the creation of The Scarecrow Project will ensure the security of Scarecrow Video by creating a non-profit to administer the vast collection, operate the organization and acquire new films. The Scarecrow Project joins the ranks of esteemed institutions like The American Film Institute, UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, American Genre Film Archive, and The Film Noir Foundation with a commitment to preserving film history.
“Preserving this library means an enormous wealth of film history remains available for public consumption. Accessibility of this collection strikes at the heart of the home video ethos – put the movie selection experience in the hands of the many instead of the few. It is not our job to decide what movies or television shows people should watch. We simply want to make as much available as possible so that current and future generations get to fall in love with them again and again,” said The Scarecrow Project Co-Founder Kate Barr.
“Scarecrow Video is a treasure that we just can’t lose. I travel the world, and it’s the most comprehensive video store I’ve ever seen,” said Academy Award-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, The Aviator, The Departed) and film preservationist.
Alamo Drafthouse CEO/Founder Tim League said, “Scarecrow Video is one of if not THE most important archive of our movie heritage. It is also the most vulnerable. It is our duty and obligation as movie fans to support their mission and help them evolve, strengthen and grow. A future without Scarecrow Video is an apocalyptic wasteland. Do your part.”
The Scarecrow Project will go beyond the continued operation of the video store to save the thousands of films that will never make the transition to digital and streaming media. With the explosion of home video in the 1980s came the birth of the direct-to-video industry. Countless direct-to-video films have never been released as 16mm or 35mm prints. Thousands of these films never made the jump to DVD, and continue to be overlooked during the digital migration. Furthermore, the collection includes films that have never been released in any format in the US. Scarecrow keeps these nearly lost classics alive and available to viewers. Funds from this Kickstarter will allow the continued preservation of these titles, while actively expanding the collection by seeking out other titles available in physical media that have been deemed to have a historical or cultural value. A donation on Kickstarter is not life support for a dying dream, but rather an investment in the future of physical media in film history. Read more about The Scarecrow Project’s mission goals here.
To get involved in The Scarecrow Project and donate to the Kickstarter campaign, please visit the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/644154729/the-scarecrow-project
For The Scarecrow Project Media Inquiries contact Ryan Fons
(323-445-4763 / Ryan@fonspr.com)
About The Scarecrow Project
From its passionate founder George Latsios to its current owners Carl Tostevin and Mickey McDonough, Scarecrow Videos has existed with the sole mission of bringing people and film together. Sitting near the corner of 50th and Roosevelt, what IFC calls the “Best Film Corner in America,” Scarecrow Video has been the go-to place for film lovers in Seattle since 1998. Over the last 25 years it has grown from a personal collection of 600 videotapes to become the largest single collection in the world. The Scarecrow Project (aka SV Archive), a non-profit organization in the process of obtaining its 501(c)(3) status, has been formed with the singular purpose of protecting this invaluable collection while guiding its course through the 21st century. Combining the talents of long-term Scarecrow employees, our organization boasts the most intimate knowledge of this library as well as the know-how for managing it. There is no other group better suited or better placed to grow the collection while still making it available to the general public.