We've written about Scarecrow Video a lot, which makes sense, considering The Stranger has been in Seattle for 27 years and Scarecrow is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2018.
Here's a loving and thoughtful eulogy about late Scarecrow founder and film enthusiast George Latsio, who passed away in 2003. Here's a little piece we did following their 2015 win of the Stranger Genius Award in Film. Ex-Stranger writer Sean Nelson—who visited Scarecrow on the reg and found comfort in the ritual of perusing the shelves and picking out films to take home, the old-fashioned way—called it a cathedral "nobly refusing to be vanquished by the vastly inferior experience of streaming video subscriptions and the whole thing about time" in a story about the U District's vanishing identity as a filmgoer's paradise. There was that time ex-Mayor Ed Murray promised $50k to Scarecrow (he misspoke), that guest editorial from Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold and Director of the Office of Film and Music, Kate Becker, about why Scarecrow Video is a Seattle icon, and those Visitor's Guide recs from local filmmakers like Megan Griffiths and Jennifer Roth, who both named Scarecrow as a must-visit place for out-of-towners.
In sum, the indie movie emporium is a quintessential part of Seattle's film landscape, a surviving bastion of physical media that has managed to weather the storm of Netflix, streaming services, and the era of instant gratification that's followed, a mecca of movies with 131,000 titles at last count, and beloved by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, and most famously, Quentin Tarantino; back in '02, he was in town for a SIFF event and apparently walked from his downtown hotel to the University District to pay it a visit.
Scarecrow Video celebrates its three decades with an online auction held in conjunction with an Independent Video Store Day party, which happens tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 20), and includes a 50 percent off sale on nearly every title from the Criterion Collection, select titles from Kino Lorber, and all used items; games with prizes and giveaways (DVDs, movie collectibles, event tickets, restaurant and brewery gift cards, wine from local wineries, et. al); food from Seoul Bowl and beer from Lagunitas Brewing; and live spins by DJ No Retreat No Surrender.
Among the noteworthy items you can bid on:
—An original art print created and signed by Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer from Twin Peaks), pictured above
—An Escape Room experience for you and 5-7 friends
—An original Road House shooting script, signed by Kevin Tighe, and with all of his handwritten notes.
There's a 2019 Cake Club Membership from Deep Sea Sugar & Salt (this one's already got some hot bids), signed Herschel Gordon Lewis posters and ephemera, a Duplass Brothers gift basket, Scarecrow experiences (like an Oscar Night Party), film festival tickets, original art, and some unexpected goodies.
The auction runs through next week; most of the swag has about six days left while a few other auctions end even earlier (6 VIP Speed Line Tickets and a Tour of The Georgetown Morgue is over in three days, as the tour is only offered through November 3). Point is, you should peep the goods now, so you don't miss out on something amazing. You can find full details about what's available here, and all the listings on eBay here.
Because the Seattle mainstay claimed nonprofit status in 2014, all money raised from the auction will go towards preserving and growing Scarecrow's expansive archive, and towards its range of community outreach events (like Children’s Hour, Silver Screeners for older adults, the family-friendly Movies in the Park, and its Screening Room's series of free films, lectures, and programming).