Four Star Video Coop! Stop on by!
Spring has Sprung!
It's finally nice outside, a good time to venture outside for a bit and get some DVDs. See you all soon. Stay tuned for more info about our annual Wisconsin Film Festival WORT broadcast, as well as our new, state of the art website.
Check out the latest issue of the Isthmus for a two-for-one rental coupon. The coupons will be appearing a couple times a month from now on.
From now until December 24th, all used movies are 3 for the price of 2. Buy two movies, get one FREE! Have a happy secular winter season!
Search Engine is Up & Running
We apoligize for any inconvience with our search engine being down for the last few weeks, but it should be working now. Special thanks to Sean Standish for the assistance! Also stay tuned for a brand spankin' new website design in the near future!
Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By & Video Store Day
As many of you have noticed, we've been having some issues with our website search engine. We are working on addressing this problem and hope to have it running again as soon as possible, with a few improvements. In the meatime feel free to call the store to check on availability. Also stop by this Saturday, October 18th for International Independant Video Store Day. We'll have deals, new sale items and even a few surprises!
Late Fee Amnesty!
Because we are technically a new legal entity, we are taking this opputunity to wipe the slate clean.Got late fees? Let's talk about it.We will negotiate on any late fees from before August 2014 as long as you've returned your films. We want your patronage more than your fines. If you have been sent into collections or have lost the films you check out, we are more than willing to negotiate a fair price to settle your debt.
Come celebrate the coop!
Four Star has been saved, and it's time to celebrate! We'll to putting new films out on the shelves to rent, as well as other great surprises! Stop by in the evening for some cake and tunes spun by our good friend Carlos. A good time will be had by all. YOU made this possible, Madison, so give yourself a much deserved pat on the back.
Help Four Star become a workers' co-op
As many of you now know, Nick, Helen, Andy, Matt, and Lewis have formed a co-op to take over store operations. The combination of the Indiegogo campaign and local fundraising events has the co-op off to an excellent start, and members have been actively talking with bankers and other business funding sources to raise the rest of the money they need to purchase the collection and other business assets. Local fundraising efforts continue, so check out all the details of upcoming events on our Facebook page.
Everything is looking very promising for the successful transition to the new cooperative phase of Four Star's history. Lisa is looking forward to her sabbatical but will continue as a consultant as long as the co-op members like. We still need your help, but we're incredibly touched by the extraordinary community that has arisen around this project. People have been so generous with their time, money and other support that we get misty every time we think about it. We don't know how to say it better, so thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.
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 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!
Co-op announcement and details
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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