Kingston 4

8357 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, TN 37919

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The Kingston 4 was a very interesting, though short lived, four-plex: built in the 1970’s and torn down in the 1990’s. The four auditoriums were each an octagon, one was larger than the other three. The construction looked like poured concrete. The lobby was was a square that fit into the space where the octagons joined.

There was no marquee as such, but a large signboard stood on the street. The floors were nicely raked and the hall was clean and nicely-if simply-decorated for the period. It was still showing first run pictures in 1993. It changed to second run soon there after and then one day it was gone. There was a lot of competition in the neighborhood and though the hall backed up to I-40 with a second large signboard facing the interstate and it had plenty of parking, sadly it didn’t make the cut.

Contributed by Will Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

SeeingI on January 11, 2011 at 6:24 am

@ Mike: Wow! The footprint is still there, that’s amazing!

I have fond memories of this theater. I remember seeing “Beetlejuice” here on my 16th birthday. I saw “Ishtar” here with my Mom the night that a huge storm blew through Knoxville and did a lot of damage to signs all along Kingston Pike. The storm was so bad people were leaving during the film to keep an eye on the situation through the lobby’s huge plate-glass windows.

Both films I just mentioned were shown in the big main auditorium whose footprint is on the right. How do I remember this sutff??

tntim on January 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Don’t look for the footprint now. A large “Rooms to Go” store now sits on this location.

GMNash on April 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm

This theatre was built and operated by Consolidated Theatres of Charlotte NC. This was the same design as the Cinema North and Cinema South in Nashville, and the Valley Cinemas in Salem VA. I worked for Consolidated in Nashville, and competed with sales at this theatre. Carmike bought most of Consolidated’s screens in 1989, and this was one of them.

KingBiscuits on April 4, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Actually, I think people were leaving because they realized they were watching Ishtar.

GMNash on April 5, 2011 at 5:45 am

@KingBiscuits = dat true, lol! I was stuck with that as one of my holiday flicks that Christmas. It was quickly dumped in the 200-seater!

GMNash on April 5, 2011 at 5:48 am

Wait, that was some other movie I was thinking of at Christmastime… Ishtar was May of 1987…. was still dumped, though.

canibfrankwithyou on September 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

I performed projection & sound equipment service here for several years. I remember receiving a call about a fire in one the auditoriums where they had been running “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for over a year. Several rows of seating toward the front of the room were burned, ceiling tiles above burned out,and screen melted. Smoke damage in projection room but all was restored and reopened. Don’t remember the outcome of the investigation.

davidfhale on November 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

GMNash – also the same design as the University Cinemas in Huntsville, AL. Built as a 4-plex with 2 more screens added later. The building still stands, and recently has been renovated into something else.

nimrod on January 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

This was a midnight movie destination for years in the late 70’s-early 80’s, including at least one year, if not two years of consecutive Rocky Horror Picture Show runs.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

WE played “ROCKY HORROR” at Regency Cinemas in Augusta,HAD nightmares too,more trouble than it was worth.

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