Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives

Coker Avenue Gang

The Coker Avenue Gang by C.C. Minnich

Courtesy of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound,

16mm, b&w, Silent, 1930. Music by 4 Five VI

Knoxville, Tennessee native C.C. [Charles Clyde] MInnich purchased his first 16mm movie camera in 1928. Over the next four decades, Minnich would capture, on amateur film, images of his family’s home life, and priceless historical moments in Knoxville’s history. All together, the Minnich Collection now held at the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound represents over 60 years of both Minnich family and Knoxville amateur moving image history. This 16mm clip, dating from the early 1930s, features infant Bill Minnich as the unwitting and beleaguered feature attraction of his father’s cinematic attempt at making his own version of the popular “Our Gang” comedy shorts.

The Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and providing access to the moving image and recorded sound heritage of our region. Housed in Knoxville’s East Tennessee History Center, the archive collects and digitizes local home movies, regional television (including The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour), audio records and tapes featuring local east Tennessee musicians, and transcriptions of local radio dating back to the 1930s. TAMIS digitizes and preserves this material in-house.