100 Years Ago

April 1, 1921

A $15,000 pipe organ, a Wurlitzer Hope-Jones of the same type as that installed in Gramman’s million dollar theatre in Los Angeles, has been contracted for the new motion picture theatre which will be built on Main street for occupancy about September 1. Excavation of the building has already begun and later the two buildings which now house the Gem shop, cigar store and meat market will be torn down in preparation for the construction work. The building will have a 50 foot frontage, a full basement and a balcony. The structure of brick will cost about $40,000 and will have a seating capacity of 800. While primarily a motion picture theatre, the building will be equipped for vaudeville performances also. There will be a 20 foot tiled entrance, with a store building on either side. A large lobby and rostrum will be features, and the heating and ventilating systems will be strictly modern.

50 Years Ago

April 1, 1971

Steer busting is “a brutal exploitation of animals for profit,” a Heppner woman told the Fish and Game Committee of the Oregon House today. Forty-four other states have outlawed the practice. At present it is conducted in Oregon only at the Pendleton Round-Up. In steer busting, a rodeo performer tosses a rope around the horns of a running animal, loops the rope around the flanks of the steer and trips it. Representatives of the Round-Up testified that injury is rare and that the animals are well cared for. Jiggs Fisk, livestock director of the show, said out of 250 rides in the event by cowboys, five horns were broken and one steer suffered a broken leg. A representative of the Animal Defenders League at the hearing produced a letter from Gov. Tom McCall in which he said he would work to ban the “brutal and offensive” sport.

25 Years Ago

April 1, 1996

It’s the end of an era. The Burger Barn, that bastion of ‘50s-style car hop hep, milk shakes and bite-size hamburgers, has closed. “Kids used to get out of their cars and mill around,” said Erlaine Hajek, 57, who bought the restaurant with her husband, Frank, in 1967 when it was an A&W. Hajek unexpectedly received an offer from the owner of Courtesy Appliance and with hesitation decided to sell the property. And so furniture, freezers and dishwashers will take the place of french fry baskets, root beer vats and milk shake mixers. Hajek continued the A&W tradition of mixing her own root beer even after the restaurant went independent in 1985, and customers still waited in their cars for car hops to deliver their food. Some things had changed with the time, however. A double burger zoomed from 60 cents to $2.45 during the past 30 years.

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