The Bloody Bucket

The Shop opened in late 2018 as a store for antiques and local craft vendors. The owner of The Shop, Beckey Thompson, purchased 1207 Main St. in 2017. The building had been home to a number of hardware stores including Chas. B. Allard Hardware (1927) and Haggard Hardware (1930). The location was also hosted the Lyric Theater (originally opened by A.W. Lilly at 1206 Main St. in 1911 and moved to 1207 Main St. in 1932) better remembered as the “Bloody Bucket,” which appealed to the “dirt-under-their-fingernails and mud-on-their-shoes crowd” in local historian Otha Spencer’s phrasing. The theater featured a variety of popular films with classic heroes and villains and was frequented by university students and town residents alike—ten cent admission for children under twelve, adults twenty cents. One resident remembered, “you could go to the Bloody Bucket theater on Saturday for a dime, fill a sack of popcorn from a vending machine for a nickel and a big Pepsi or RC was a nickel. You could come and go all day for the picture and shorts without additional charge. This was a day’s entertainment with money left over.” [1]

The location became Bickley’s Appliance in 1962 and Brent’s Appliance and Carpet Co. in 1974. Radio Shack moved in during the 1990s before the location became the new location for Kartridge Korner Inc., managed by Dennis Anderson. This electronic store, which was originally opened in 1967 by Mike King and operated out of the corner of Jess King’s, Mike’s father, service station on Culver Street.

Jess King was a Wolfe City native. After his graduation from High School, he enlisted in the navy in 1940. Enlisting during World War II, King faced many of the horrors of war. King was aboard USS Helena when it was sunk by a torpedo. King floated for twenty-four hours before being rescued. After King’s military service, Jess and his wife Janice moved to Commerce. In 1954 the couple gave birth to their first child. Mike King grew up in Commerce, graduated from Commerce High School and attended East Texas State University. Mike King helped out his father with photography, and started working at Hennington, a school photography company. With the money Mike made at Hennington, he started Kartridge Korner. The business moved to the King’s Plaza behind the Mr. Minit gas station at 1903 Culver Street.

Mike King shared interest in the company, alongside Dennis Anderson. After Mike’s father, Jess, passed away, Mike sold his share of the company to Anderson who grew up in Clarksville before coming to Commerce to attend the university. Anderson moved Kartridge Korner’s operations to 1207 Main Street, Commerce. The store was a Radio Shack dealer and Anderson worked as an independent electronic specialist with his wife. For the Christmas season in 1988, a personal home computer (the Tandy 1000) sold on sale for $499 (roughly $1,125 today). It boasted up to 1 MB of RAM.



1207 Main St.