One of the largest video stores in the country and a landmark in north Seattle, Scarecrow Video specializes in carrying movies and formats you can’t find other places. Though their primary business is video and machine rental, they also have great selection of new and used movies for sale in the same range of formats.
Established in 1988 with the desire to unite people with film, Scarecrow Video has grown exponentially through the intervening years. Their current inventory contains over 100,000 titles. They carry not only DVDs and Blu Ray, but also VHS, PAL and LaserDisc. These same formats are also available for sale in their new and used sections.
The store is laid out in an eclectic fashion. Their upper floor neatly breaks things down into genres, from animation to noir to psychotronic. The main floor, by contrast, has sections based off of directors or nations of origin.
The store is built for exploring, with winding nooks filled with movies of every stripe. Whether its vampire films or movies based on video games, there are shelves and shelves of discoveries to make. If you don’t feel like adventure, you can find specific movies on a computer kiosk. Not only will the computer tell you in what section the movie is, but it also gives a map to help find it.
Not all of their customers are tech geeks who have every video-playing device known to man. For the common rental customers, they have machines available to rent. Whether it’s a PAL-format VCR or a Laserdisc player, they can help you enjoy movies that are not available any other way.
The very obscure contents of their inventory are labeled “Rental by Approval.” In those situations, you will need to provide a deposit with either cash or credit card. Sometimes the deposit is relatively small, but some irreplaceable classics can require a couple hundred dollars. This can seem daunting, but can be very worth it. Especially if you find yourself, like I did, needing to watch a VHS copy of an old Bond film right away.
In an age of downloadable films and DVDs mailed to your door, Scarecrow Video continues to thrive while other video stores close their doors. Their inventory of independent, foreign and out of print films are a valuable resource that has not yet migrated to the Internet. They also maintain connections with local film-makers and communities to provide better access to local work as well.
Take a moment to check out this priceless Seattle resource and find new depths to your appreciation for film. You can find them at 5030 Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle, or visit them on the Web at http://www.scarecrow.com/.