In an age where an endless supply of films can appear on your screen with just the click of a button, this massive grocery store-sized video shop is a refreshing break from the online norm. With more than 100,000 titles stocking its shelves, it’s the largest independent video rental store in the world.
The forerunner to Scarecrow Video first opened in 1986 in the back of a record store with a measly 200 titles. By the mid-’90s, Scarecrow had ballooned into a collection of 30,000 videos, all of which had been personally watched by founding partner and “Doctor of Video Pleasures” George Latsios.
In the years following, the store received visits and praise from film icons like critic Roger Ebert and directors John Woo and Quentin Tarantino. The collection continued to grow in both size and acclaim, becoming a friendly haven for local Seattle film buffs.
But tragically, a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer gave Latsios a predicted six months to live and sent him splurging on a whirlwind collecting spree. He, his wife, and their business parter were later forced to sell the store in 1999.
Scarecrow managed to survive, despite the change in ownership and the demise of brick and mortar video rental stores around the world. It transitioned to a non-profit organization in 2014 and currently boasts a sprawling video collection of roughly 130,000 titles. You can expect to find anything from Bigfoot to cannibal flicks to Vengeful Acts of a Wrathful God (VAOWG). In addition to its “for rent” stacks, the store also has several hundred movies available for purchase at any given time.
- The Scarecrow Movie Guide. Sasquatch Books, 2004.