Recently we were looking east to the foot of Kent St. and it brought back to mind the way things were years ago when we had Britton Bros. Jewellery Store located on the corner of Lindsay and Ridout Streets. This store, which later was known as Bacon's Jewellery Store, had large heavy wire gates in front of the main doors; probably the last store in Lindsay to have them.
As we proceeded north we had the Kent Theater which was owned and operated by Fred Edmonds and later by his daughters. One of the most fascinating things about this movie house was the fact that it was the only theater in the world where one entered at the front but had to make a 180 degree turn to take a seat and see the screen. This little 296 seat theater was eventually purchased by 20th Century Theaters and closed when the same company constructed and opened the Century Theatre on Kent St. West.
Next door to the Kent Theater was the most popular store in town! Who of us will ever forget the Morris Cigar Store? Rube Morris was a very popular man about town and a very astute businessman. In the early 1940s Rube came to realize that workers at the Arsenal and CPR and NCR Railroads were getting their cheques long after the banks closed. In those days the banks opened at 10 a.m. and closed at 3 p.m. Rube came up with the idea of cashing cheques for these workers up to and as late as 10 p.m. Usually this meant that the customer cashing his cheque would purchase a ticket for ten cents and had a 10 to one chance of winning merchandise of his choice up to the value of $1.00. Line-ups were often across the front of the Kent, Bacon's and would then wind down Ridout Street. The late Ab Ashmore did the cheque cashing while Rube and his other employees looked after the customer's other needs.
Travelling north we next came to Pederson Bros. Florist Shop which was later to become the Frank S. Crichton Optometrist Store. Next the Academy Theatre which was owned by Bill Roenigk and "Hi" Meehan and was the location of Lindsay's first movie complete with sound. Last but not least was a butcher shop on the north side of the theatre.