Showing 151 - 165 of 165 comments
Ailor Avenue is located just off Western Avenue close to University Avenue in the Mechanicsville neighborhood. This theatre was apparently was open between 1950 and 1955. The exact address does not seem to exist anymore, but Mechanicsville was pretty much decimated by the construction of I-40. From the location, it is possible that this was an African American theatre.
Between 1950 and 1955, apparently, it was called the Center Theatre, and I think it was still open in 1955. Don’t know how long after that it closed.
The French Village Drive In was actually opened through about 1989, as I saw THE FLY II and I’M GONNA GET YOU SUCKA there is what I believe was its last year of operation. BAC had pulled out, and it was operated as an independent in its last year. It was never actually an X-rated theatre, but during the it’s later years with BAC, they ran X-rated features at midnight on Saturday night after the regular features had ended. They cleared the field before letting you in for the X rated show, and if you had been there earlier, you had to come back in and pay a second time (and obviously prove you were over 18!)
Even in its last year, The French Village was impressive though worse for the wear after so many years. It broke my heart to see it decay after it closed. I seem to remember that in the late 90’s, there was talk about it being reopened, but nothing ever came of it. A church bought the property, and plans to build a new church building there.
For many years, the French Village was the last active movie theatre in East St Louis, and there have been no theatres at all in East St Louis since it closed.
When I moved to Knoxville in 1972, this theatre was known as the New Riviera. I don’t know what was “new” about it. From the front, it was much plainer looking than the Tennessee Theatre just up the street both inside and outside. It did have an impressively large auditoriun, and I remember you had to go downstairs to go to the restrooms. As I recall, however, there was a painting on the back of the theatre building of Charlie Chaplin (I think) that you could see from what is now called James White Parkway, which has just been built. At that time, the New Riviera was run by the Simpson chain. The Tennessee was still showing movies also at the time, but they tended to show “bigger” movies than the Riviera, which specialized in horror and blaxploitation movies. Since I was a fan of both of these, I went to the Riviera a lot! The Simpson chain closed the New Riviera in 1975. The last movie there was ironically ADIOS AMIGOS with Fred Williamson and Richard Pryor. The next year, there was a brief attempt to reopen it, but it only lasted a few weeks before closing again. I understand the building was torn down in 1988.
However, the Riviera appears to be rising from the dead. According to the Regal Theatres website, the Regal Riviera Stadium 8 is “coming soon” to 510 South Gay St:
Since I no longer live in Knoxville, I don’t know if this is a new building, or a renovation of a building that was built there after the original Riviera was demolished. Either way, I am glad that movies are returning to downtown Knoxville.
I used to drive by that building just about every day, and never knew it had been a theatre. From the address and the photo, I can remeber the building. Not sure what was there in the 70’s when I lived in Knoxville. Happy Holler was still a pretty rough place back in those days. The last time I drove through there, about 3 years ago, it looked like the neighborhood is holding it’s own now. I’m glad the building is being put to a constructive use
The Ramada 4 is now the Truman 4. The hotel it is located next to pulled out of the Ramada chain, and is now known as the Truman Hotel, and the theatre also changed names. Otherwise it is unchanged;
Here is a link to a photo and story about the Princess:
The Princess probably closed in the mid 50’s. I was born in 1953, and I can remember the Princess looking pretty much like it did in this picture, although my first memory of it was that it was already closed. It was on the corner of North Brewer and East Washington facing North Brewer. The actual entrance and box office was just to the right of where the photo ends. The theatre facade was intact for quite a while after it closed, then it became a Butler and Harbor’s Shoe Store for decades. Accordibg to the article it was still a shoe store in 1995. Since then it has been used for a variety of businesses including video arcades, restaurants, and I think briefly a bar. I’m not sure what it is now. You can’t really tell by the photo, but to the right of the building is East Washington Street, which goes steeply downhill, and there was a level of the building below the street level of Brewer Street, with some small businesses facing East Washington, some of which are still in use. The last time I noticed there was at least a barber shop and a small office open. The building appears to still be structurally very sound, and has remained in almost constant use since the theatre closed. I don’t know when it was built.
In the 70’s, I lived in East Knoxville,and used to go by this little theatre quite often. There was a little IGA Supermarket still open in what had been the business district of Burlington that I often shopped at that was very close by the theatre building. I think the bar there was still open at the time. I am sad the building is gone. I would like to learn more about it’s history.
I lived in Knoxville in the 70’s, and for much of that time lived in East Knoxville, only a few blocks from the Park/Studio One. At that time, it was the only indoor theatre in Knoxville that wasn’t downtown or in West Knoxville along Kingston Pike, and also the last neighborhood theatre. I saw quite a few movies there, including HAROLD AND MAUDE. I am sad that the building is gone.
The Park was open into the 80’s. I saw WAR GAMES there in 1983. I’m not sure when it closed.
I remeber that in the 60’s, the Montague advertised itself as “Nashville’s Only Independent”, as all of the other drive-in’s in Nashville were run by the Martin chain>
Could this be the Carroll Drive In, which was located on Highway 22 about halfway between Huntingdon and McKenzie? I don’t know a lot about it, but it was open in late 70’s and early 80’s, and is now gone.
That is definitely a photo of the Bruceton Theatre, which on the outside at least seems well preserved. It has been closed a long time; I don’t ever remember when it was open, and I probably first drove by it in the late 60’s or early 70’s
Unless it has been closed very recently, the Court is still open,
The Capitol closed in about 1970 or 1971. The last movie I ever saw there was “ANGEL ANGEL DOWN WE GO” which was released in 1970. It was part of the Martin Theatre chain. When it was closed it was first converted into a Fred’s Dollar Store, but later was purchased by Grace Episcopal Church, which is next door, and is still used by the church to this day, though the building is unrecognizable as a former movie theatre. The Capitol would show A movies Sunday through Wednesday, and B movie double features (my favorites!) Thursday through Saturday in the 60’s when I was a kid. Martin also owned the Sky Vue Drive In, and closed it the same year, but it was reopened soon by a local businessman, and lasted until the mid 80’s. I have seen old photos from when the theatre was used for graduation ceremonies by the local high school in the 30’s. It is possible that Basil Rathbone performed there, as there was a stage. My mother once told me that there was a personal appearance there by the actor Frank Lovejoy sometime in the mid 50’s