Booth Theatre

1836 W. Cumberland Avenue,
Knoxville, TN 36916

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Booth Theatre

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The Booth Theatre was opened in 1928 and was among the first theatres in the Knoxville area built specifically for motion picture presentation. The Booth Theatre closed sometime during the 1960’s and was converted into a restaurant. Today, the former theatre houses a neighborhood bar. If you have any additional information on the Booth Theatre, please update.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 1, 2006 at 11:09 am

The Booth is still standing, currently a university-neighborhood bar. The space has been divided vertically: a 2nd floor has been inserted into the auditorium space. Reports are that the ornate proscenium is intact and visible in an upper level store-room. The marquee is gone, the original facade is covered with E.I.F.S. The exterior side and back walls are visible and unremarkable. The architectural firm that designed the Booth was Bowman and Bowman. The architect’s son is an active local historian and philanthropist.

tntim on March 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm

The Booth opened in September 1928, just two weeks before the opening of the Tennessee Theatre.

tntim on July 31, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Exterior picture taken in October of 1928:
View link

TLSLOEWS on August 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Nice vintage photo tntim.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

It was a Wilby-Kincey Theatre in 1956.Along with the Bijou,Park, and Tennessee Theatres.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on December 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

Notice on the photo above, the feature film is “Stool Pigeon.” According to that feature was released October 25, 1928: we can assume this photo was taken sometime around shortly after that date. Stool Pigeon was a silent. Wonder what sort of accompaniment was provided. I have not found a record of an organ installed here.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

Tim – do you know who operated the Booth originally? I’ve found references to Booth Theatres in both Sweetwater TN and Greeneville TN. I was wondering if there was a local chain using that name in the 1920’s.

tntim on April 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

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.

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