1988: Die Hard premieres in theaters. Nirvana plays their first show. Sub Pop Records forms, and a few hundred video tapes are offered for rental in the back of a record store where George Latsios greets customers with his familiar call of, “Hello, my friend!”

2018: Scarecrow Video celebrates 30 years of being one of the most important film and television resources in the country! The original stock of 600 tapes has grown to over 131,000 titles and isone of the largest publicly available video collections in the world.

This beloved Seattle institution is currently positioning itself to be the leader of making videos relevant in our digital age. Scarecrow established its world-renowned reputation during the video revolution, and is continuing to reinvent itself by undertaking the challenge of how we think about videos.

With a staggering collection of titles nearly three times the number offered by major streaming services that puts them in league with the likes of The American Film Institute and The UCLA Film and Television Archive – they are well positioned to do so.

In honor of their landmark annivesary, Scarecrow is launching a 30th Anniversary 30 Years of Scarecrow Fund Drive. Gifts to this campaign with sow the seeds for Scarecrow’s next 30 years … and beyond.

    In the past, our understanding of videos has been a commerce-based one – videos equal rental or sales. Video stores were the place you went on Friday night to get your entertainment for the weekend. While in some areas that may still be true, for significant collections like ours, a new perspective is needed. We don’t view our movie and television assets as what was historically thought of as cheap, disposable entertainment, but rather as significant documents of our cultural history. We cannot sacrifice the richness and diversity of over 125 years of human history from all over the world just for the sake of ease. Ever.
    — Kate Barr, Scarecrow Video's President


    • Major streaming services have a combined total of ~35,000 titles compared to Scarecrow’s 131,000+ titles. The internet, and video-on-demand may offer greater access to all forms of entertainment -- but you still can't find everything on streaming or even close to everything.  Not only that, but Scarecrow continues to grow its collection by 3,000- 5,000 titles each year, while many streaming collections are shrinking.
    • 80% of Scarecrow’s rarest movies are not held by the Library of Congress.Scarecrow’s collection represents the deep wells of our cultural history spanning over 125 years, and includes many rare, out-of-print, foreign and independent films. Scarecrow is proud to hold films not just about marginalized storytellers, but by them as well, and they hold these works to be of equal importance as Hollywood blockbusters. Unique to Scarecrow is an expansive foreign section – including region coded titles - which represents 129 countries and over 126 languages other than English.
    • With over a quarter of US households without internet access, the digital divide persists.  This means that physical media, like DVD & Blu-rays, will continue to be produced by most distributors.  Scarecrow anticipates that its collection will continue to grow with both new and historical content for the foreseeable future. Further, Scarecrow offers a solution that gives viewers complete control of their experience and the freedom to fully explore their curiosity.
    • Scarecrow Video is now a non-profit. By 2014, the collection had grown to become so significant that a non-profit was formed to continue its stewardship. This change in model has allowed Scarecrow to not just remain a Seattle icon, but also to develop unique outreach programs to connect more people with film. Foremost in their mission is that these cultural assets remain accessible for current and future generations.