VHS as an archival format strikes me as crazy talk.
Got my Scarecrow card in 1996. they were awesome if you wanted to see something you couldn't find anywhere else. Mr. Mom, for example. You could rent Mr. Mom in 1998 on VHS for $10 a day with a $1000 deposit on your credit card. And yes. They organized by director. And yes. They had an entire room of "psychotropic" video.
But they hit you for a $1000 deposit to watch Mr. Mom. Know why I got a Netflix subscription? Because Netflix had Grass. Netflix had Animated Soviet Propaganda. Neflix had Persian cinema. Granted - they didn't have an entire room for people who think Ed Wood is talented. But they didn't charge my card $1000 to watch Mr. Mom.
Scarecrow brags 120,000 titles. PTP brags 142,000. And everybody with a login could theoretically watch every single film without any degradation whatsoever. Oh, but then the producers don't get any proceeds. They never got a cut of the rentals, either. Oh, but then you don't get to interact with a barista at the "VHSpresso!"
You thought music store clerks were judgy? Wait until you meet a guy who feels okay charging you a grand to watch Mr. Mom.
Scarecrow was dope back when it belonged to the original owners. They had an idea. Then they went near-bankrupt in '99 and it got bought up by some well-heeled MicroSerfs. They had a hobby. Now they have a tax shelter. Congratulations. It sure as fuck isn't "A way forward for brick and mortar to lead."
Yeah - let's get a bunch of kids into a building that couldn't make money, to watch movies that didn't make money, to get into an industry that doesn't make money, so they can beg their parents for Kickstarter funding to shoot yet another goddamn "passion project" about lesbian possums under the Aurora bridge or some shit. Fuck. Yeah, Seattle needs another splintered, fractious, self-entitled film community. Why stop at the People's Front of Judea and Judea People's Front when you could have the Front for Judean People, a GoFundMe-approved 501(3)(c)?