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Foodways Traditions

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Terri Hunter

Macon Theater was located at the top of Town Hill close to where Town Hall is today. It had three sections of seats, along with a balcony. 

(More about Macon County’s movie theater history in a future issue of Macon Sense.)

Carrie Houston sat in a windowed booth on the right of the entry and sold tickets to the movies. Wiley Rogers, who was a great big man, was always in the theater, and may have sold concessions, along with a small man who could neither hear nor speak; but he managed to do his job by reading lips. I think his last name was Ledford. The man in charge, who would shush you if you were too loud and disturbing others, was Vernon Stiles.

On most Saturday afternoons I went to the movies and took in the double features. That means two movies for the price of one. I usually had enough for admission and, if it was a good day, a snack.

The concessions I remember were popcorn (of course), fountain Cokes, a six pack of tiny powdered doughnuts, candy bars, and best of all, gigantic kosher dill pickles. Popcorn, Cokes, doughnuts, and candy are consumed fairly quickly, but the pickle took some dedication and perseverance to finish.

Those pickles were as big around as my wrist, salty, and the sourest food in three counties. They were so large, if I timed it right and only took little bites, I could make it last all afternoon. The only problem was a great unrelenting thirst that lingered long after the pickle was gone.

Oh, to be a kid again! Spending all afternoon at the movies, watching cowboys and Flash Gordon, and tenderly trying to extend the life of a huge kosher dill pickle … Good times!

Some of Terri’s foodways trivia from the 1960s, ’70s, and ‘80s, to test your Macon County knowledge includes: 

What was The City?

—a restaurant with a big parking lot and a curb hop located at the edge of town.

What was the name of the grill located at the entrance to Franklin High School?

—The Tom Thumb.

What was The Point?

—A burger place and teen hangout in East Franklin.