Showing 1 - 25 of 107 comments
It’s true that the Star Theater was the first theater that Mike Campbell rented. This was the beginning of Regal Cinemas. Link
The exact opening date was November 6, 1998.
Film footage of the 1963 fire can be seen here:
Chris, this picture is posted on the wrong page. Obviously this is not the Tennessee Theatre.
Yes, it was one of the Ultra-Vision theatres of the same design that ABC build around the south.
The projection equipment is being auctioned off today July 1, 2014. Link
Westown Theater opened on December 20, 1972. The theatre closed as a single screen theatre on October 16, 1983. After the theatre was twined, it reopened as Westown I & II on October 28, 1983. The last day of operation was on June 28, 1990, and it was demolished shortly after.
When Westown opened, it replaced the historic Tennessee Theatre downtown as the flagship theatre for ABC Southeastern Theatres in Knoxville. When Bill Courey, the city manager, was asked what the future for the Tennessee was, his response was; “We will continue to operate it, but it is hard to keep a large theatre that is located in the downtown area, and my guess is we will have to close it. After that, I am afraid it will become a parking lot.” Today the Tennessee is alive and enjoying the best years of its life, and the theatre that was built to replace it is now the parking lot.
An aerial photo of the theatre can be found here: link It is the oval building in the lower left hand corner of the mall parking lot.
Knucks, the aerial shot in the photo section shows the drive-in west of Ehrmann Street. On Google maps, there is a second lake west of Ehrmann where the drive-in use to be. So it appears that the lake is where the drive-in was located.
I would love to know what is under that water.
These pictures were taken shortly after the theatre opened in 1920. The auditorium was unusually long and narrow and had 44 rows with 23 seats each.
I found the article about the construction of the Pike here
in “The Showman’s Trade Review”. It is not as long as the one in “Boxoffice”, but it is still informative.
Picture of the projection booth. Link
The Tower closed on September 2, 1964. After a remodel, it re-opened as the Lenox on September 23, 1964 with the showing of “Dr. Strangelove”. The Lenox closed on October 25, 1966 due to the reconfiguration of Broadway.
Here is a story of the construction of the Tower.
The Skyway was on Maynardville Pike which is what Broadway becomes after you leave the Knoxville city limits. The location is in the unincorporated community of Halls Crossroads. I have set the streetview to the correct location. It shows the original driveway which is now the entrance to the trailer park that sits on the spot where the drive-in was. You can take the streetview up Mynatt Road which runs along the south side of the property, and still see the old metal fencing that was around the drive-in.
The last add in the newspaper that I can find was in September 1973, so I would assume that it closed for good after the 1973 season.
The correct address is 6517 Maynardville Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918
Joe, I have no idea why it would be put in the rustic category. When the Pike was built in 1946, it was the typical post war design. There was a story in Boxoffice about the innovative use of precast concrete slaps that were used for the side and rear walls. They are currently re-working the Boxoffice Vault web page, so I am unable to post a link.
Walter Morris who owned the original Capri Cinema, (former Pike Theatre), used the money from the sale of the Lenox,(former Tower Theatre) to build the first Cinerama Theatre in Knoxville. The new theatre was built on the west side of the Capri. Morris leased the Capri Cinema to the Simpson Operating Company who also leased the Lenox from Morris until TDOT took the land for the reconfiguration of Broadway. Simpson would also lease and operate the new Capri-70. At that point, Simpson was operating the Capri Cinema, Capri-70, and the Riviera which was downtown.
The Capri-70 opened on November 23, 1967 and had 709 seats. It is a Stran-Steel structure that measured 80’ wide x 160’ long and is 48’ high at the eves. The auditorium was designed to meet the specification of Cinerama with the screen 35’ high and 72’ across the front of the theater—it was curved, and if you stood down in the center, it was 21 feet into the screen. The lenses were special ground by Bausch & Lomb in California, just for that particular theatre. It was just as sharp from one side to the other and had six-track stereophonic sound.
The theatre was twined in 1985 with one side seating 500 and the other side 178. At this time the name was changed to the Capri Cinema III & IV.
On July 1, 1987 United Artists leased the theatre from the Simpson Operating Company. It then became a Regal theatre in January 1991 after the Regal/ UA merger. The entire Capri complex closed on September 29, 1992 after Regal and Simpson were unable to negotiate a new lease.
As Joe mentioned, this complex is hard to place in a category. Both Capri’s were freestanding buildings built side by side. They were not like todays multiplex which are single structures with two or more auditoriums inside. To make it even more complex, Simpson dropped the “70” from the name in December 1978 and the whole complex became simply the Capri Cinema. In 1993, the original Capri Cinema was demolished except for the rear 25% which is used for storage and the Capri-70 was completely gutted inside to accommodate the new art gallery.
So I guess there will always be a little confusion here on CT as to which theatre is which. Sorry Mike, “The Taming of the Shrew” and “A Shot in the Dark” both played prior to Nov. 1967 and should be posted on the Capri I & II page. I have also posted a newspaper article in the photo section.
The Commons 6 opened on April 15, 1988 to replace the Cedar Bluff Twin. The Theatre closed on March 30, 2000 after being replaced by the Windsong 16.
The Fox opened on July 18, 1969 and had 800 seats. The one thing that I remember about this theatre is the projection booth was only four steps above the back row of seats. They had a continual problem with people standing in the back row and playing shadow puppets in the projector’s light.
The theatre closed January 7, 1979.
This theatre was opened on December 21, 1976 by ABC Southeastern Theatres. It had two auditoriums each seating 375. The first movies were “Nickelodeon” and “Great American Adventure”.
Ownership changed to Plitt, to Cineplex Odeon, and then to Carmike. After Carmike build the Commons Six Theatre less than half a mile away, they closed the Cedar Bluff Theatre on April 15, 1988.
The Halls Cinema originally opened April 21, 1983 with four screens. Three additional screens were added in May of 1989. The theatre is still in operation under independent ownership.
The shopping center that the theatre was in was developed in the mid 80’s. The Home Depot anchored the west side of the center and the East Towne 8 anchored the east end. Litchfield built the theatre which opened June 22, 1990. Shortly after the theatre opened, Regal Cinemas purchased the theatre from Litchfield.
When Regal bought out United Artists which operated the UA-7 located in the mall that was on the other side of the interstate, Regal switch the East Towne Crossing to a dollar theatre. After Regal enlarged the East Towne Mall theatre, they closed East Town Crossing on October 11, 2001. The building stood empty for several years before finally being torn down.
The Aug 6, 1937 issue of “The Film Daily” (pg 9), has a small article about Mrs. Fon Sexton who operates the Lyric in Ashland and the Grand in Ironton, buying the Stanly as a wedding present for her daughter.
In the Dec. 5, 1942 issue of “Showman’s Trade Review” there is mention a building permit had been obtained by Vine Properties Co. to rebuild the Gem Theatre which was heavily damaged by fire several months ago. Construction had already begun, and was expected to cost over $22,000.
In the Sept. 27, 1941 issue of “Showman’s Trade Review” there is mention that W.E. Drumbar and Walter Morris are building a 600 seat theatre in the Lonsdale section of the city. Drumbar has worked in Knoxville the past 24 years for Publix. Morris spent the last six years working for the Fox West Coast Circuit.
In the June 24, 1939 issue of “Showman’s Trade Review” there is mention of a contract being let to build a new 600 seat theatre at 1301 Western Ave. The owners were Denton Theatres which Mr. George L. Denton was president.
Yes Will, this was owned by a gentleman named Booth. He owned several theatres in Middle and East Tennessee. I have found some articles in the “Motion Picture News” archives about him filing for bankruptcy in late 1929. I will see if I can find them and post.