JACKSON — It was December 1996, just before Christmas, and projectionist Doug Hagen had just started playing “The Preacher’s Wife” at the Jackson Hole Twin Cinema.
But when he went downstairs he found a woman in the last row, feverishly searching for something with a flashlight: She’d lost $60, and it was the last $60 to her name. Hagen went upstairs and paused the previews.
“I remember when he told me, I said, ‘You turned the previews off!?’” Frank Londy recalled.
“He said, ‘Frank, it was her last $60.’ I said, ‘All right, go on.’”
Hagen continued to tell the Twin Cinema’s owner how he went back down and let the audience know why he was pausing the film. How the audience waited and, when the money didn’t turn up, how the woman tearfully asked Hagen to start the movie.
But Hagen also told Londy about how, after the two went to search the bathroom, they emerged to find an audience member with $50 raised from other customers. Hagen threw in $10 or so of his own, and Londy told the story in a letter to the editor, crediting “those anonymous strangers, sitting in that darkened movie theater, who came together for a moment or two to aid another stranger.”
“It’s just a wonderful tale of human nature,” Londy told the News&Guide Monday. “Doug’s a stranger to the woman, the woman’s a stranger to…