Four Star Video Heaven
renew movies online Join our Email list

2008 Anniversary Newsletter

Dear Friends,

For our 23rd anniversary, we’re making some exciting new changes that we can’t wait to share.

  • This will be the last newsletter I mail to all of you. We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback over the years about our mailings, but as you may imagine, sending out 20,000 letters is an expensive undertaking and makes it hard to face my trees when I go home. Sign up now for Four Star’s new email list, on our website or in the store, and stay in the loop. You’ll receive store and movie news, special offers and other great stuff, and we promise not to inundate your inbox with junk. We will never share your information with anyone.

  • In response to your frequent requests, we’re introducing a rental subscription plan! Come sign up for a subscription and lose yourself browsing the kind of magnificent collection that can only be created through a quarter century of enthusiastic efforts by people who care deeply about film and about the cultural landscape of Madison.

  • While you’re here, sit down for a cup of coffee or tea in our new Hard Times Coffeehouse, a modest Depression-era place created in honor of the outgoing administration and the success of its policies.

  • And join our birthday celebration November 6-11th, made possible only by your support. Thank you so much.

Why try Four Star’s rental subscription plan?

A lot has been said about the competition from Netflix which—gotta’ give ‘em credit—built a good mousetrap. But our subscription plan is better. Shall we compare?

Four Star Video Heaven



$17.99 for 3 out at a time, including Blu-ray

$17.99 for 3 out at a time, including Blu-ray

How you get your movies

Come in, browse, seek advice, pick out what you want and take it home now—8am-1am every day of the year

Processes returns and ships M-F, subject to the vagaries of the USPS

Swapping out movies

As often as you like, come in for instant replacements, no delays

Turnaround time inevitable, can’t just go in and pick out what you want


Extraordinary—come in and see for yourself


New arrivals?

Yes, but be patient with us as we adjust our buying to serve the new model


Quality control



Late fees

None (provided you’re on the subscription plan)


Automatically renews unless cancelled



Point of contact

Madisonians who are passionate about movies

Your computer

Recommendations from

Our friendly knowledgeable staff

Computer algorithm


Lisa Brennan, longtime Madison resident and former UW grad student



Lisa, Peter, and Amber

CEO Reed Hastings, CFO Barry McCarthy… well, you get the idea


Belief that economic and cultural diversity, thriving local economies, and community-based businesses are good things

According to CEO Reed Hastings, “Netflix will spend as much as it can afford on subscriber acquisition in a drive to put physical video stores out of business and grow its market share.”

Local community service

If you need help for your organization, please ask. We’ll be happy to do whatever we can. Some of our commitments include condom giveaways, AIDS fundraising, Street Pulse, research grants, the Rape Crisis Center, Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools, WYOU, Rainbow Project, MMoCA, public schools, OutReach, and neighborhood groups.


Sells your information to direct marketers


Yes, unless you explicitly opt out

Winners of our free rental drawings say the best part of winning is the opportunity to explore genres and movies they might never have considered if they were paying for each individual rental. At Four Star, you’ll never be penalized for being a heavy renter—we make it our mission in life to help people find great movies, and our library is inexhaustible. Imagine the fun you’ll have peering into every niche in the store, and then come try it out. Bring a debit or credit card to sign up.

Why buy local?

Local businesses have a stake in the community and donate a far greater portion of income to charitable organizations, along with making substantial donations of time. More than half our income stays in the community versus an average of 14% for nationals. We pay rent and taxes, patronize other local businesses, and hire great people. And that’s where the biggest advantage lies. Read on!

Meet our staff

Peter loves horror movies and wrote an article about them for Dane 101. Sara is a fan of the classics and recently published a piece on Louise Brooks. Amber is an expert on anime and wrote her master’s thesis on Speed Racer. Matt teaches Classics, volunteers at OutReach, speaks 6 languages, and loves the French New Wave. We have many more fascinating people as well, and they’re all some of the friendliest, smartest, funniest people you’ll ever meet.

Want to browse the collection before you come in? Head for our website, where you’ll find the entire inventory online. See what we have from the Wisconsin Film Festival, browse movies by country of origin, or search for a specific title. Renew a movie online or send us a comment or request. Check out what movies are coming soon to the store. Buy used movies or create a list of what you want to see next. Available any time of the day or night.

Celebrating our 23rdbirthday

Come party with us Thursday, November 6th through Tuesday, November 11th. Buy 2 used movies and get 3 more FREE. Rent one movie, get a second FREE (one can be a new arrival). Enter our prize drawing to win a year of FREE rentals and other great prizes.

As we approach our 23rd anniversary, I’m also celebrating a personal milestone, five years as the owner of Four Star Video Heaven. I just re-read the letter I sent to all of you announcing my purchase of the store, and I was struck by the excitement and enthusiasm that fairly jumped off the page. I remember the feeling well, and as challenging, rewarding, scary, exciting, and joyful as I expected the work to be, it has exceeded my expectations in every respect—and we’re still just at the beginning. I can’t say it often enough and don’t know how to say it better: Thank you.


Lisa Brennan

Owner, Four Star Video Heaven

Copyright Four Star Video Heaven 2001. All rights reserved.