December 4, 2015 / 7:29 PM / 3 years ago

Wisconsin store owner buys out local Star Wars showing

People wait into a metro station decorated with Star Wars characters to promote the upcoming film 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in Paris, France, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - The force will surely be with a Wisconsin toy store owner after he bought all of the tickets for an opening night screening of the latest “Star Wars” movie at a local theater, planning to give most of them to local children charities and loyal customers.

Life-long “Star Wars” fan Matthew Rieley, owner of The Freaktoyz in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, bought all 75 tickets for one of the opening night screenings on Dec. 17 of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at a local Marcus movie theater.

The 47-year-old plans to give more than 30 of the tickets away to Project Angel Hugs, a organization that helps children with cancer, Horizons4Girls, an initiative for at-risk girls, and the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.

He will keep a couple of the tickets for his family and himself and raffle the rest off to customers at his store, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Milwaukee.

“It’s a classic movie and to share it like this is a fun way to experience it with ... our ‘Star Wars’ family,” he said.

Rieley’s love for the franchise extends to his store, where he has on sale thousands of “Star Wars” figurines and collectibles. Rieley said one of more unique items that he has on sale are small bars of soap molded in the shape of popular “Star Wars” characters.

Rieley has been fanatic follower of the franchise since seeing the first movie in the theater about four decades ago.

“It was incredible,” said Rieley, who still regularly watches the movies at home. “The movie changes people.”

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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