Joy Theater

1205 N. Central Street,
Knoxville, TN 37917

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Joy Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The former Joy Theater in Knoxville, TN is now used for Taoist Tai Chi exercise classes.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on November 2, 2005 at 4:33 pm

Was this theatre at one time called the Center?

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 8, 2005 at 12:21 pm

This theatre was also called the “Picto” at one point. It is a neighborhood storefront hall, about 35 feet wide and 100 feet long. The marquee is long gone but a practiced eye can tell it was a theatre.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on July 6, 2006 at 9:41 am

In a 1920 Knoxville Journal Tribune newspaper ad I find this hall listed as the Central Threatre. “Knoxville’s only suburban theatre.” The name Joy is particularly appropriate: the neighborhood is known as Happy Hollar (“Hollow” or valley for those who don’t speak Southern). Happy Hollar was fairly notorious for being THE place in Knoxille to get moonshine during (and after) prohibition.

Let’s raise a glass to the Joy!

bbrown1
bbrown1 on July 6, 2007 at 9:40 pm

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

bbrown1
bbrown1 on July 13, 2007 at 6:10 pm

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.

tntim
tntim on August 2, 2007 at 12:47 pm

This theatre seems to have had identity crises over the years. It first opened as the Picto in 1916. Then it became the Central in 1920, the Liberty in 1922, the Picto in 1923, the Central in 1925, the Cameo in 1931, and then the Joy in 1935. That only lasted until 1948 when the name changed to the Center. It remained the Center until it closed in 1955. This theatre was reported to have 400 seats.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on December 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hey guys, could you check your Film Daily yearbooks in the mid-1940’s up to the mid-1950s and see if you find a movie theatre at 1121 North Central? It’s about a block east of this one, on the same side of the road and it looks really suspiciously like a post-war, low-rent theatre, maybe 300 seats. It’s been empty for years. I’m not finding it in my limited materials here at home and a trip to the library would have to wait until after new years.

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