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Scarecrow Video starts $1.8 million fundraiser to save its shop

University District’s Scarecrow Video is looking to raise money from its community to continue operating its extensive video collection and rental business.

Rows of video shelves in front of a sign that says "Films Organized by Director."

Scarecrow has many of its titles organized by famous director.

Photo by @pswett

Seattle’s University District store Scarecrow Video recently released an S.O.S. — “Save Our Scarecrow” — in an attempt to stay afloat amid a downturn of revenue and an upturn of expenses.

Originally launched as a video rental business during the 1980s, Scarecrow harbored 600 titles — 200 were from owner George Latsios’ personal collection alone.

That inventory has grown into today’s 148,000+ titles, making it one of the country’s largest publicly accessible video collections.

From 1999-2015, Scarecrow Video underwent changes in ownership, technology (VHS tapes to DVDs and now streaming), and business status (for-profit to nonprofit) to keep up with the evolving world of film.

With its ever-evolving archive of unique titles + its state-designated status as a cultural museum, the impacts of Scarecrow Video on the Seattle community aren’t up for debate. However, its future is.

The cinephile safe haven’s mission is simple — to stay put in its current location, provide a livable wage for its staff, and raise enough capital to stabilize the organization.

To do so will take quite the community lift. Here’s how you can help:

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