"Four stars to Four Star," declared film critic Roger Ebert during one of his several visits to Four Star Video Heaven. Other film fans of all types this month are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the feisty DVD rental shop at 315 N. Henry St.
Four Star has a broad collection, but it's also known for its collections of gay, lesbian, foreign and silent films.
Deep into the age of Netflix and other impersonal delivery systems, Four Star continues to do business the old-fashioned way. The recession hasn't helped, but business is good, according to Lisa Brennan, who helped manage the store before buying it in 2003.
"We've been very happy with it," she says. "We really work very hard. We're passionate about film."
And so are Four Star's customers, who come from as far away as Portage. But neighborhood residents also value the opportunity to wander the shelves, reading DVD jackets, encountering films they might otherwise never have heard of.
"Browsing is very important to me," says Brennan.
Four Star is celebrating with a variety of rental specials this month, and with cake on Thursday, Nov. 11.