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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Will The Real Minky Allen Please Stand Up?

I got the following email from Don Maxwell, down in the warm Florida Keys for the winter, in response to last Saturday's Blog entry on the Community Theater in Tuckerton. Don has a remarkable memory and a keen sense of humor. I always look forward to hearing from him, and his latest tale about Leon "Minky" Allen at the Community Theater didn't disappoint. It made me chuckle, and I thought I would share it with you.

The Community Theater, in 1964, on Main Street in Tuckerton.
Photo courtesy of the Tuckerton Historical Society.


Just a little tidbit I remember about the old Community Theatre in Tuckerton. They used to have what they called Bank Nite held every Friday night. While the audience was seated, they passed a hat or something, maybe a bowl, thru the isle and every one would write down their name and address on a little slip of paper provided. I think it was immediately after the movie and, when the lights went on, Mr. Loux would go on stage with a bowl full of the slips of paper and would get a volunteer from the audience to come up and draw one out.

I remember this was during the last of the depression just before the war, and the economy was still pretty tough. The prizes were $50 first prize, $25 second etc. on down, so needless to say, the place was packed as these prizes were a lot of money for the times.

So, I'm setting there, and Mr. Loux read a slip of paper and said, “Leon Allen, New Gretna. He repeated it several times and finally said, “Leon Allen, New Gretna” for the last time.

About then, Harold Gerew, who was sitting in back of me, got up and went a couple of aisles down and reached over and tapped a man on the shoulder and said, “Hey Minky! That's you!”

Harold Gerew

Immediately, Minky Allen jumped up and yelled out “Here! I'm here!” and went up and got his prize. The funny part of the story was that Minky didn't recognize his own name, Leon, as everyone called him Minky. He nearly missed his prize, and he undoubtedly needed the money.

Don Maxwell

Unfortunately, we can't gather present day stories about the old Community Theater as it was torn down in 1973. What a pity!

Progressives would say that, while we have lost most of our old community theaters, our modern cable TV with its vast array of "Movies On Demand" is far superior. As for me, I'll take the good old neighborhood movie theater, with its carnival of familiar smells and where we could chat with our friends and neighbors. Pass the pop corn, Minky!

Pete S


  1. Pete: Nice story by Don. Just one question? Who wrote Leon Mathis on slip of paper if he didn't know his own name?

    Clif Brown

  2. Clif,

    Good to hear from you. Knowing Minky, I would think that whoever accompanied him probably filled out the slip for him and used his given name- Leon.

    Pete S

  3. i was 10 years old, the theater is a faint memory of what i remember about going "up town"