Remembering Ben Franklin Store and Flim Flam Man

Filming of Flim Flam Man (Provided by Don White)Mike and Joyce Wright

What is today’s Downtown Lawrenceburg KY Visitor Center used to be many different stores.  One that many in the community remembers is the old Ben Franklin Store that was owned and operated by Mike Wright.

The Ben Franklin Store in Lawrenceburg started back in 1965 and continued until the early 1980s.  Mike remembers how the store used to be, which at one time spanned both the visitor center and the current Magnolia Home Consignment store.

The store offered a variety of different items, akin to a five and dime store. And it was filled, even the upstairs.  Mike fondly remembers having a special “Toy Land” room upstairs just for Christmas and having to bring all new products upstairs to be processed. “Everything that came into the store, I packed up these stairs. Everything,” Mike said.

He also remembers a young man named Rosco who used to work at Taylor’s Grocery.  According to Mike, every Friday after he got paid, Rosco would come to his store to see if any new music albums were delivered and he’d buy every one if there were.

One of the big memories Mike has is when the Flim Flam Man movie was being filmed on Main Street.  The 1967 movie, which featured a number of prominent actors of the time like George C Scott, was filmed in Lawrenceburg and a number of cities around the state. “They just took over the town,” Mike said while reminiscing about how they filmed the movie.

During the filming, Mike recalled a story of him trying to find 20 pigeons for the production.  They were originally planning to end the car chase scene with the car that was being driven by George C Scott hitting the canon on the court house lawn.  When the car hit, they wanted 20 pigeons to fly out of it.

The production crew asked Mike to see if he could find the pigeons.  Hunting around, he eventually found someone in Lexington with an old barn full of pigeons.  Trading a bag of feed, he got the pigeons and kept them on the roof of the Ben Franklin Store until they needed them.  Although he was paid for the birds, they ended up not using them and told him to release them which he did.  In the end, Mike said that the pigeons ended up back at the barn in Lexington as they were homing pigeons.

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