From The Paris Post-Intelligencer Files
The Princess Theater and Cole's Cafe helped keep North Brewer Street viable in the 1940s. Youngsters could
buy movie tickets for a quarter and hamburgers cost 30 cents. New cars could be bought for $2,500.
From the P-I ~ used by permission.
|In 1944 and 45, I worked at the Princess Theater as a 10 and 11
year old. I sold popcorn and also 'caught' (took up the tickets.) The Princess was a
second run (we run a lot of 'B' grade movies and never any 'A' movies until the
Capitol (Paris' other theater) had run them first. The Princess had been built by Ben
Diggs and then sold to the Crescent Amusement Company based in Nashville. The theater was
managed by Louie Bracato. The entire operation consisted of Mr. Bracato's wife who helped
with ticket sales and the popcorn machine; Vernon Keen (') the projectionist; his sister,
Louise Nichols, ticket and popcorn sales; one other lady who sold tickets; myself; and
perhaps the person with the widest range of duties, Paul Dumas.
Paul was totally responsible for the operation of the Colored balcony ( the segregated area of the theater.) He did the janitorial work, received and shipped the metal movie reel containers and displayed and removed the many one, two and three sheet movie advertisement posters.
I clearly remember standing in the open outer lobby of the Princess on the day in August 1945, when the Japanese had surrendered, watching people go by in their cars, firing shotguns out the car windows into the air. Seemed appropriate at the time, it would scare me to death today.
(although it was a shoe store at the time, on August 14, 1995 I returned to the spot that had been the outer lobby of the theater, where I stood fifty years before, on that V-J Day.)
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