This guy has a heart that is rarely seen except on silver screens.
The Desert Historic Theatre is the only cinema within 100 miles for the people of Burns, and its owner runs it without a profit just so the kids in remote Eastern Oregon will have something to do.
“Tiny” Pedersen bought the 1940s-era movie house 13 years ago. On a good night, 30 people will turn out to see a show, buying tickets that barely cover the cost of heating the place.
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Pedersen was able to keep the theater open, thanks to a full time job at an auto repair shop and some volunteers in the community, until Hollywood shifted to digital projection a few years ago.
Tiny couldn’t get films that run on the old-fashioned projectors anymore, so the town rallied to raise $100,000 to buy new digital equipment for him.
“You just enjoy with the kids, you talk to ‘em and you know most of them by name and ask them how they’re doing in school, how they are doing in their sport if be basketball or in wrestling or whatever,” Tiny told Northwest Public Radio.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally opens at the Desert Historic Theatre this weekend, and Tiny says it’ll be a rare, sold-out show.
But “for the kids,” he’s running each of the six previous Star Wars episodes on the big screen first — all free of charge.
— Photo: Desert Historic Theatre, Facebook