The Minonk Theater was located in the middle of the block on Oak Street between
Fifth and Fourth Street. The theater was started in 1938 when the owners of the old
Royal Theatre on West Fifth Street moved the theater to the Sutton Building on Oak
Street. The building was completely remodeled for the theater and was considered one of
the finest in the state at that time with its art deco interior. The first manager was
Herman "Buzz" Claymon. Later, Bob Witte became manager.
Bailey Enterprises owned the theater until 1950 when they sold it to the
Sutton Brothers who ran it until 1967 when it was temporarily closed due to lack
of business. The increased popularity of television and the increased mobility of
people caused most small town theaters to close.
Wayne Witte, son of Bob Witte, eventually bought the theater building in 1970 and
continued to operate it until the 1980's. The theater burned down in the early 1990's
and is now a vacant lot.
The showbill shown at the left was passed out in the theater to announce coming attractions.
Note the name appearing below the date. This person won a prize but we don't know what the prize was.
Back in the 1940's the theater would have a drawing every Tuesday night for a set of dishes.