Humans of The Little: Dorothy, The Popcorn Machine

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Humans of The Little: Dorothy, The Popcorn Machine

By Scott Pukos
[email protected]

It was my first week at The Little when I discovered the popcorn machine has a name.

Of course it made sense that the employee who provided us with our gloriously salty, buttery super snack would have not just a name, but an entire origin story. Needless to say, this new information intrigued me.

"So, what's the name?" I asked excitedly (and probably as I shoveled a handful of popcorn into my word hole).

"She's Dorothy."

I couldn't tell you why I knew this, but it was one of those things that you can immediately tell is perfect. Dorothy is just the ideal name for our salty (in the best way) friend. This isn't a random thing either. Legend has it, when Dorothy first arrived to The Little's Winthrop Street back building she was shiny and new enough to resemble, not a popcorn machine, but a prop in a hit 90s movie. Yes, it always comes down to a movie here at The Little. She, of course, resembled Dorothy, the mobile tornado observatory barrel that Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton use in TWISTER. (Unrelated side note: My dream event at The Little is to have a Mystery Science Theater-style screening with Rochester meteorologists giving running commentary during TWISTER, because I have watched this film with weather professionals before, and it is high entertainment.) In the movie, Dorothy is designed to release hundreds of sensors into the center of a tornado, and then send that important data back to the protagonists. Our Dorothy is designed to release a tornado of taste inside of her, and release that delicious information back to our favorite people (a.k.a. you, dear reader). Some key differences, but I think our gal has the clear advantage (even the wink at the Wizard of Oz works better here, because the film reference inception going on is gold).

Shout-out to Greta and Debbie at The Little for gifting Dorothy this amazing backstory, and then sharing it with me.

I'm fortunate to work with talented students here at The Little, and our current intern Samuel Hirschhorn has created a wonderful ode to Dorothy. Additional shout-out to recent University of Rochester graduate Aliye Gallagher for assisting with the filming of this project. Without further introduction, here's our tribute to Dorothy, a fantastic human of The Little:

Director's commentary from Sam: 

"This video was a lot of fun to make and I was happy to be able to share Dorothy’s story with friends and patrons of the Little. Learning about Dorothy’s history at the Little gave me a newfound appreciation of the popcorn here. I would also like to thank everyone who helped out on this project, especially the awesome concession staff."

You can follow Little Popcorn on Twitter at @_LittlePopcorn.