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Theater Ticket-Shredding Machine

July 27th, 2009 · 16 Comments

All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.

Art Deco Theater Ticket Shredder

Here is a theater ticket-shredding machine from the 1930s that we restored. Stands like these were positioned in a theater lobby and manned by a ticket-taker, or usher. They collected admission tickets to shred them as the patrons entered the theater. The tickets were dropped into the top of the machine and then the ticket-taker turned the wheel on the side of the stand to grind them up. The reason behind destroying the tickets was so they couldn’t be used by another patron to gain entrance to the show, and perhaps also, to avoid ticket resale by the usher. In theaters today they tear the ticket in half and ask you to hold onto the remaining stub so you can prove you paid to get in.

We restored this machine to reflect the art deco design trend that was so popular in the 1930s. The art deco style is reflected in the graphics and type style, as well as the chrome details on the stand.

Produced: Late 1930s

This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby of collecting and restoration. We also enjoy sharing the photos of the many items we have restored over the years.

Tags: Restorations by Vintage Vending Inc. · Unique & Unusual

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Veit // Oct 10, 2009 at 12:27 am

    I have the exact same ticket taker as pictured above, sans the etched glass. I am curious if you are aware of any resource for replacing the 3-spoked external crank handle. Mine has one broken spoke, approximately 1″ outside the outer ring. I was thinking of perhaps having a metal fabrication shop create the missing piece, but thought I might do a little searching online first.

  • 2 vintagevending // Oct 12, 2009 at 9:18 am


    I think a metal fabrication shop is a great idea. Otherwise you could search for parts for your machine on ebay or craig’s list, but I have a feeling they will be hard to find.

  • 3 Chris // Mar 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I have a similar box but without the crank handle. I am interested in selling it on Craigs list or ebay but have no idea what to sell it for. Any suggestions? Thanks, Chris

  • 4 vintagevending // Mar 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm


    Sorry, but we can’t estimate a value for you. Can anyone else help?

  • 5 Brad // Apr 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hey im doing a package project and i need pictures of vintage ticket machines. I really like the one you restored, but are there any more pictures you could email me for reference?

  • 6 vintagevending // Apr 9, 2010 at 8:48 am


    We emailed you a couple more pictures. Does anyone else have any they would like to share?

  • 7 david O. // Jul 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    What is the proper name of a movie stub stand without the shredding device on it?

  • 8 vintagevending // Jul 28, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I believe they were called Ticket Takers

  • 9 Ray Berrier // Oct 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your photo of the Theatre Ticket-Shredding Machine.The Civic Theatre of Allentown (PA) is a non-profit organization that has the same model in their theatre lobby, unfortunately in need of restoration. The wheel and shredding mechanism are missing but there is a chance these parts are still on the property. The missing etched glass window is a “can do” item.
    Emailing any other pictures of this or similar models (Were other colors available? Theirs is a dull green.) that help in it’s restoration will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Ray Berrier
    Volunteer for the Civic Theatre

  • 10 Mark // Mar 6, 2011 at 1:36 am

    If anyone has one of these they are interested in selling, please contact me. Thank you. mark_durbin@hotmail.com

  • 11 Greg // Mar 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Looking for an grinding assembly and wheel for an antique oak ticket taking machine. please let me know of any sources

  • 12 Jame // Jun 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I’m looking for one of these or another version, If you know of a Vintage stub taker, please let me know!


  • 13 PabloTeatra // Oct 4, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Hi! we are looking for pictures of tickets taker to use in a part of our new coming site. Can you send us some more pics please?

    Thanks in advance.


  • 14 kevin // Jun 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I have a Newman ticket taker machine like this one but I think it’s older. I good shape.

  • 15 Craig // Jan 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I have a ticket machine similar to the one above. It’s a newman. I am interested in selling. Email if interested thanks. Craigsteph@verizon.net

  • 16 chris // May 6, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I have one of these for sale if anyone is interested located in michigan

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All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.