Blind Frank's Concessions/Wilson Theatre 


This small, triangular portion of the Wilson Building was home to Blind Frank’s concessions for many years, complete with candy display cases, ice-cream freezers and a popcorn machine. It was very small, and crowded, especially on cold evenings, when patrons crowded in to escape the cold and buy treats for the movie. His original metal sign is still on display inside. Frank Deno was a long-time concessionaire for the Theatre. He lost his sight in a Montana mining accident that almost killed him. His family moved to Acequia in 1907, where he bought a poultry ranch. Frank was later widowed and left to raise his five children. He sold the ranch and purchased the store here. He raised his family selling penny candy and popcorn and repairing radios. It was fascinating to watch him locate various items in boxes, cases and freezers and identify proper payment. Even though he was blind, he felt the coins customers gave him and was rarely cheated. Virtually all the older visitors to the Wilson Theater fondly ask, “Do you remember Blind Frank?” He made an indelible impression on the young people of his day. He used his sense of touch in place of sight. Doing so became one of Rupert’s many informal education courses free to students of any age. Blind Frank is just one of the impressive characters that made the Wilson Theatre such a memorable place for many who lived in the MiniCassia area.