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Database last updated Saturday, Apr 19 2014 2:17 AM

Open Every Day of the Year 10am-midnight
449 State Street, Madison 53703 (608) 255-1994
Madison's Favorite Video Store Since 1985; Locally owned, Owner operated

Contribute to our Indiegogo campaign here

Four Star is becoming a co-op!

We're making news!

The co-op is becoming famous! Check out these stories about the project. Saturday night WISC-TV broadcast this story: Employees raise money to buy popular video store. Isthmus wrote: The Future of Four Star Video Heaven. And we have this from the Cap Times: Four Star Video Heaven needs help to stay open. They were interviewed on WORT community radio and have an upcoming appearance on 93.1 radio. But the co-op members are still the same simple, sweet people you've always known. And you can say you knew them before they became famous.

Thanks so much to everyone who's contributed so far

We've heard from tons of supportive people who are very excited about Four Star's becoming a co-op. To everyone who has contributed or offered their fundraising and artistic talents, thank you so very much!

WORT broadcast for the Wisconsin Film Festival

We are once again teaming up with the good people at WORT community radio to do a live broadcast featuring filmmakers from the Wisconsin Film Festival on Friday April 4th from noon to 2pm. We have a great line-up planned.

*Matt Connoly: Wisconsin Film Festival
*Robert Greene, director, and Brandy Burre, actress, Actress
*Jeff Spitz, director, Food Patriots
*David Weber Macasaet and Shahin Izadi, directors, The Round Barns of Vernon County
*Paul Harrill, director, Something, Anything
*David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, directors, The Immortalists
*Anna Sampers, director, Margaret Hue Would Like to Go to Mars
*Brandon Colvin, director, Sabbatical
*David Esfeh, director, eduCAUTION
*Elijah Drenner, director, That Guy Dick Miller

Huge thanks to the hosts Mel & Floyd and, of course, to all the filmmakers who have agreed to participate. Come on in to watch in person or tune to 89.9 WORT to listen.

Film festival booklets are ready

We've got our very popular Wisconsin Film Festival booklets updated and printed and available in the store. All film festival movies we have available for rent are listed and described. Help yourself to a copy and make your own little film festival at home. Updating always reminds me of movies I missed at previous festivals and gets me in the mood for the new one.

Help Four Star become a workers' co-op

We have some very exciting news about the future of Four Star Video Heaven. We, the staff of Four Star (Helen, Lewis, Matt, Brittany, Nick and Andy), are forming a worker’s cooperative! Current owner Lisa Brennan is looking forward to some well-earned adventure and change in her life, but would like to leave our inimitable library intact and available to Madisonians for years to come. Our lack of investment capital along with bank reluctance to lend to small businesses makes financing this venture with a traditional business loan unlikely. Four Star has turned a reliable profit since we moved to our location at 449 State Street two years ago, and we foresee our viability continuing far into the future.

Four Star has played an important role in Madison’s cultural landscape for many years. Roger Ebert once described it as “the most comprehensive and adventurous video store in all America.” We recently received a letter from a former patron that underscored the implications of those sentiments. He wrote to say: “I was struggling with my homosexuality, with so many difficult decisions ahead and I was lost; I didn’t know what to do or where to start. I found your store and, with it, your fantastic collection of indie and LGBT films. I revisited Madison last fall and panicked when I saw your old location empty, but was so relieved that you had merely moved. I’m so glad you are still in business, it meant the world to me. You made a real difference in my life.”

As a cooperative, we hope to engage with the Madison community even more than the store has done in the past. This would mean continuing our tradition of supporting area social, artistic, and nonprofit organizations, as well as building bridges to the broader Madison cooperative movement. We chose this particular business structure for two other reasons. One, it would be tryingly awkward for any one member of our tight-knit little group to assume power over the others. Two, profit is not our bottom line. The cooperative movement in the United States rests on a long tradition of putting communal welfare before private gain. We all like what we do here very much, and want to keep serving Madison in this capacity as long as it is feasible.

To that end, we plan to do our utmost to increase customer interactivity with the store and create a more welcoming space by remodeling the foyer into a research library/book store and lounge. Another top priority is redesigning our website along the model of a wiki so that Madisonians can log in and post reviews, comments, or ratings about the films in our collection. We’re also floating ideas for regular screenings, possibly at our store, possibly at other locations around town.

Our mission is fairly straightforward: to raise enough money – through donations, grants, and, if necessary, loans – to keep the doors open, lights on, and to maintain and improve our vast film collection. To this end, we are appealing to as wide an audience as possible with letters, emails, and our recently launched page on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo: Indiegogo. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions, ideas, or comments that spring to mind at

We are now located at 449 State Street

Despite the State Street address, our new storefront is located about a half block off State Street on Broom. There's a tea shop at the State Street corner of the building in which we're located, below Wasabi, next to Asian Kitchen, and across State Street from Mimosa and American Apparel. It's a very cool two story space with a spiral staircase and an elevator available for those who prefer not to use the stairs. Sprout has the front of the street level and Four Star sprawls out through the rest.

Try Four Star Unlimited!

Four Star Unlimited gives you unlimited rentals for one low monthly fee. Movies rented during their first 28 days in the store will be due in 5 days. All other movies are not subject to late fees. Watch as many movies as you like and explore our fantastic inventory at your own pace. Check out these great options:
*3 out at a time plus 10% off used movies: $17.99 per month
*4 out at a time plus 20% off used movies: $24.99 per month
*5 out at a time plus 30% off used movies: $29.99 per month
*Automatic damage protection on all subscription rentals: $3 per month

Coming Soon to Four Star Video Heaven

April 8

August: Osage County
Field in England
Grudge Match
Hobbit 2: Desolation of Smaug
I Am Divine
Last Time I Saw Macao
Narco Cultura
Paranormal Activity 5
The Punk Singer
The Summit
Touch of Sin

April 15

Brief History of Time (Criterion)
Date & Switch
End of Time
Great Expectations (2012)
Invisible Woman
Nut Job
Picture of Light
Ride Along
Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

April 22

Bettie Page Reveals All
Big Bad Wolves
Master of the House (Criterion)
Riot in Cell Block 11 (Criterion)
Trials of Muhammad Ali

April 29

Escape from Tomorrow
Il Sorpasso (Criterion)
Labor Day
The Rocket
Selfish Giant

May 6

Generation War
Separate But Equal
Veronica Mars Movie

May 13

After Tiller
Eastbound & Down: season 4
Generation Iron
I Frankenstein
Is the Man Who is Tall Happy
Orange is the New Black
Stranger by the Lake

May 20

16 Acres
God Loves Uganda
Grand Piano
Monuments Men

May 27

Child's Pose
Journey to the West

June 3

True Blood: season 6

June 10

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
True Detective
Winter's Tale

June 17

Lego Movie