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Many large premieres have been held at this theater. I’m not sure why Regal chooses Knoxville for these events, but I suppose it’s because the company is based out of Knoxville. I recall the first one being The Dukes of Hazzard, which is understandable as Johnny Knoxville is a native of south Knoxville, but they’ve also held charity premieres for Talladega Nights, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Real Steel, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, with the likes of Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Will Ferrell, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Hugh Jackman, and Liam Hemsworth in attendance, respectively.
This theater was one of the “Funscapes” that Regal introduced in the late 1990’s. Funscape was one of the final nails that drove Regal into bankruptcy. My friend Chuck was the general manager here when it first opened in 1999, with The Phantom Menace being one of their first big screenings. They also had a premiere of October Sky here, with director Joe Johnston and Jake Gyllenhaal in attendance.
I recall seeing handprints and signatures outside on this theater’s sidewalk – Oscar-winners Patricia Neal and Cliff Robertson, amongst others. Last I saw, these were moved over to the former Terrace theater.
Lots of great memories from childhood here, back when it was owned by United Artists, and it was called East Town Mall – Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Beetlejuice, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman.
I can recall seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark here in 1981, when I was 5-years-old. It was the AMC four-screen at the time. I believe it became a Regal / eight-screen in 1989. I also worked at DTW from 1994-1998. Good times.
I can recall seeing Ghostbusters, Back to the Future Part III, and Total Recall there. The last film that I remember seeing there was Box of Moonlight, with John Turturro and Sam Rockwell, which was partially filmed in Knoxville.
The location of this theater is where the Super Wal-Mart now stands. The marquee was there until the late-1990’s – early 2000’s.
This was a nice theater. I remember seeing E.T., and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? there. I can also recall, in 1987, riding in the car on Kingston Pike, and seeing a bunch of Jesus-freaks standing outside the theater with picket signs, protesting Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.