Memory Lane

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — Werther Hoy, of Sidney, found an old photo recently and it brought back lots of memories.

The photo was taken in the 1930s and shows the Warner Brothers Capitol Theater, which was in the Taylor Building, which used to stand at the corner of Poplar Street and Main Avenue.

In the picture, youngsters stand on the corner waiting to cross the street while late-model cars whiz by. Parked beside the building is a popcorn wagon. Hoy remembers it well. He would purchase popcorn there before going inside to see the “little show.”

“You had the little show (the Capitol) and the big show, the Ohio Theater. It had a balcony. That’s where teenagers would go to neck,” he said. Admission to the Capitol cost 15 cents.

“I lived in Port Jefferson and rode my bike to the show. Your bike would still be there when you came out,” he added.

Also pictured is the Smoke House, next door to the theater, “where men smoked and played cards and there were spittoons on the floor,” Hoy said.

Hoy had moved to Shelby County when he was 4. He and his family came from Arkansas. His father worked at Copeland’s, where, in 1942, he was paid 40 cents per hour.

“I worked at Copeland’s, too,” he said. “But I made more than 40 cents per hour. In 1956, for 40 hours, I’d take home $52.98.” Hoy retired in 2000.

The Capitol Theater closed sometime between 1953 and 1957, when Miller Jones Shoes opened in the space.

The Taylor Building was eventually vacated by the time the century turned, it had fallen into disrepair. Deemed a hazard, it was razed by the city in April 2011.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Do you have an old photo with stories to tell? Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Do you have an old photo with stories to tell? Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.