At a young age, during his teenage years, Mr. Edgar Wiggins entered into the work field as an employee of The Dixie Theater. His first job role was taking up tickets for the shows. During this time, the price to pay for entertainment at the local theater would run anywhere between 10 cent and 50 cent per ticket, according to Wiggins during a recent interview.
After learning the ropes of theater entry, Wiggins eventually was shifted over to the concession stands, where citizens would purchase popcorn, candy bars, and soda.
“It was the best popcorn you’d ever eat,” Wiggins chuckled while speaking on the good ole days of The Dixie Theater. “Working as a theater employee, popcorn and coke were free. It was so good; we’d make ourselves sick eating so much.”
Apart from the perks of scrumptious concession stand items on the house, theater employees would also be able to catch glimpses of the films played from time to time, which eventually inspired Wiggins to learn the roles of the projectionist who played entertainment for locals at the historic theater.
“I spent many hours learning how to work projectors. Mr. Fennell, is what we all called him, was willing to teach me how to play the films and I was so thankful that he did,” Wiggins commented.
While learning the job of a projectionist, Wiggins was able to learn a lot in his position, such as screen sizes, how to create 3D effects, and much more. In fact, his desire to learn more at the Dixie Theater landed him a special position as manager at The Dixie Theater Drive-In that was once located on Highway 80.
Many movie-goers may recall the excitement of watching their favorite cowboy shows, chapter features, cartoons, and the presentation of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, all following Wiggins announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, this drive-in is proud to announce the showing of…”
Wiggins still plays some of his favorite films at his house that were once viewed by theater audiences, except he now plays them on machines compatible with newer technology while still reminiscing his days as a Dixie Theater employee. The Dixie Theater is still in the process of coming back to life. Stay tuned for future updates and flashbacks from individuals in upcoming editions of The Blade!