Stan's World: Dish Night at the Tivoli
from Issue #15- May 2001
If you happen to be
one of that dwindling segment of the local society that grew up
during the "hungry thirties", then youll probably
remember when they held Dish Nights at a couple of
the local movie houses: the Tivoli and the Palace.
get people into the movie theatres on the slower weekdays, the managers
dreamed up the idea of giving a dish to all adult ticket holders,
with a different dish being given each week. It turned out to be
one good way to get the mothers out of the house for a spell, and
at the same time stock the family cupboard with a set of good dishes.
And they were good,
dishes too. . .so Ive been told.
And then there were
those zany Auction Nights held at the Palace Theatre when people
flocked to the show carrying all kinds of junk, bric-a-brac and
household items in brown paper bags, in burlap bags, in their pockets
and purses, hoping the emcee or auctioneer would call for them.
The auction went as
follows: At the intermission between the feature movie and the B
movie, the auctioneer on the stage would call out something like
this: Ill pay fifty cents for a corkscrew. Anybody in the
audience have a corkscrew?
If you happened to
have one, you hollered out: "Okay, Palace!" and the first
one to do so, ran up the aisle to exchange the item for a shiny
fifty-cent piece. (We called them half bucks). And then he might
offer a whole dollar for a bottle of ink, or a chisel, or a "Big
Some of the stuff he
asked for you wouldnt think anybodyd have the presence
of mind to bring along. But darned if they didnt. Unbelievable!
What pains some people
took to make a buck or two. But you couldnt really blame
them. After all, a buck went a long way in those lean days.
Heres a few
of the items I remember people bringing in: a hot-water bottle;
a thimble; a spool of thread, a soup ladle, a darning-needle, a
cork, a bottle-opener yes, and even a coat-hanger. You name
it, someone had it.
We might not have had
TV in those days, and a lot of people didnt even have radios,
but there were all kinds of other ways to have fun, to push back
the cares and concerns of those hard-scrabble days. To tell you
the truth, more so than there are today. Or so I like to think.
Auction Night was just one of the many.
Read More about the Tivoli
and Walkerville Theatre...click here
Back to Life and Times