If you've ever needed to rent that one obscure Kaiju-French-New-Wave-Noir-Rom-Com you couldn't find anywhere, Scarecrow Video has been there since 1988 with that very movie on hand. With somewhere around 120,000 titles on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, Laserdisc and pretty much every other format you've heard of, the U-District's Scarecrow Video is one of the largest independent video rental stores in the country.
Despite being beloved by film-nerds near and far, Scarecrow has fallen prey (like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video before it) to online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant. The past six years, the store's profits dropped 40 percent. But rather than closing its doors and losing its treasure trove collection, Scarecrow Video is transforming into The Scarecrow Project, a slightly altered non-profit version of its former self that will maintain and hopefully continue to grow its inventory for years to come.
The result of a partnership with the nearby Grand Illusion Cinema (a non-profit itself), the non-profit Scarecrow Project will offer memberships, volunteer opportunities, more frequent public screenings in its screening room, and a bigger educational outreach component.
Today Scarecrow created a Kickstarter with a goal of $100,000 to help with transition fees—a transition that is set for October if delays don't get in the way. So far the campaign has already raised around $17,000 in the few hours its been up.