The Dry Cleaners
By Reno Bailey
The long, low structure was built very soon after Cliffside was founded, for the purpose of showing silent movies, or “flickers,” as they were called in those early days.
As a theater, it was rendered obsolete when the Memorial Building was completed in 1920, providing the community with a modern new theater.
In 1927 Cliffside Mills renovated the structure to house a new business, “Rutherford County Dry Cleaners,” owned by Geo. C. Shuford and A. M. Haynes.
This photo of the building was taken in December 1970, over half a century after it was built. By now, like the rest of Cliffside, it looked scraggly and rundown, but apparently the cleaners was still in operation, for there was a lighted Pepsi machine—and a weight machine!— at the front.
Over the years, many others worked here, including Ivy Shuford, Bill Horton and Roland Wallace. These were hot, sweaty jobs—every machine emitted steam, in a room cooled only by a noisy, dirty exhaust fan.
In the mid ‘70s, the creaky, sagging old building was gutted and razed.
Photos by Roy Lee Harris, contributed by Sherry Harris Phelps.