413-417 Union Avenue,
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The Roxy Theatre was built in the 1930’s as a burlesque theatre. It was small, with 475 seats. It stood a half block west of Knoxville’s Market Square: a convenient, if not prestigous, location. Small town burlesque didn’t last too long and the Roxy Theatre existed as a second run movie theatre for most of its existence (stage shows were dropped in 1948).
Several generations of school boys spent their Saturday mornings at the Roxy’s double feature westerns. Now gray-haired men, they will smile and tell of taking the street cars “uptown” to see Tom Mix, the Lone Ranger, Hop-Along Cassidy and friends.
The Roxy Theatre was closed in 1959, and was torn down during Knoxville’s tragic wave of urban renewal to make way for a parking lot (c. 1965). After 40 years the site is finally being redeveloped.
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