It's official: Seattle's unique Scarecrow Video has been sold at last, and to people who seem to want keep the Roosevelt Way shop just the way it always has been-only better. Buyers Carl Tostevin and John Dauphiny, both product testers in Microsoft's Desktop Applications division, closed the deal today with Scarecrow founders George and Rebecca Latsios, taking over assets including the shop's 40,000-plus collection of videotapes and laserdiscs and obligations including paying off Scarecrow's many creditors, who've been waiting over a year for a federal bankruptcy judge to find a buyer capable of putting up enough cash to put the space back in the black. Tostevin and Dauphiny want to do better than that: They plan to invest immediately in upgrading the store's archaic computer check-out and inventory system, as well as expand the shop's already unique collection of rare, out-of-print, and just plain weird cinema fare. They also plan to continue to work with the Latsios, and collaborate with the store's present core staff on any future changes. "They're the ones who know the business," says Tostevin. "We just want to help them do it."
Both men have both been regular Scarecrow customers for quite a while-"as regular as you can be, living on the Eastside," says Tostevin. "That's actually why we wanted to own the place," he continues, not entirely joking. "Now if we don't want to return our tapes in two days, we won't have to."