Adele Fagan - 1949
Adele Fagan, Wildey Ticket seller, shows off her new engagement ring from Leonard Leitner from inside the Wildey ticket booth – 1949.
The Wildey Theatre helped put me through Illinois State University. During the 1950s, I sat in the ticket booth most weekends and welcomed persons of all ages to our showings.
That booth had a small fan to keep me relatively cool during the summer and a heater for warmth in the winter. There was a listing of times the films began and ended and a phone allowing me to answer questions potential customers might have. There was also a price list to help me quickly know how much to charge for various numbers and combinations of adults and children tickets. No calculators handy, then.
The booth also afforded me a view of the Main Street traffic. I knew who was dating whom and who was checking to find friends already in the theater.
I got a break once an evening when the manager would allow me time to leave the booth. Usually that was when I helped friends behind the concession stand. It always tickled me when parents told their child he or she could have “anything.” Many times after the child made a choice the parents would suggest something else since that choice would be too messy to eat.
At the end of the evening, I always said a little prayer that the number of tickets sold matched the amount of money in the drawer. Dad, working at the National Bank, would be checking on me.
As I recall my time at the Wildey, I remember the friends made there, especially Gerry, Rosemary, and Mrs. Carter who taught me a job could be “fun”, too.