Twin Aire Drive-In

Clinton Highway,
Knoxville, TN 37912

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Twin Aire Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Twin Aire Drive-In was built in 1969 and I think closed about 1985. It was located on Clinton Highway north of Knoxville on the left before you get to Powell. I am not sure of the address, but the last I heard there was a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site.

The Twin Aire was huge, and I think held about 2000 cars divided between it’s two giant screens. It had a large, modern glass enclosed concession stand so you could see both screens while in concession stand. It also had a decorative fountain in the area between the screens. It was built and owned by the Simpson theatre chain. In the 70’s, they were opened year round seven nights a week with double or triple features on both screens. I went there often in the 70’s, and they were usually packed, especially on weekends. Some time after I left the Knoxville area in about 1978, they closed down one of the outdoor screens, and built a small two screen indoor theatre on that side connected to the concession stand. The Twin Aire was in a very scenic location that was mostly rural, and then just outside of town. One of the screens was built up against a large hill. I assume the land was sold as that area became more suburban, and property values went up. It became another drive in that fell to Wal-Mart.

The Twin Aire may have been the last theatre left in the Simpson chain by then. In the 70’s they owned the Riviera, the Capri, the River Breeze Drive-In, and the Chapman Highway Drive-In, all of which I think closed before the Twin Aire.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

thanks Seeingl wish you had pictures.

bbrown1
bbrown1 on February 2, 2011 at 1:31 am

I wish I could remember the name of the twin indoor theater; I don’t believe it was advertised as the Twin-Aire, but something different. I thought the name might have had Powell in it, but there was a different Powell Cinema further north in Powell, so I doubt that was it.

tntim
tntim on February 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I am not sure, but was the name of the indoor theatres the Clinton Twin or Clinton Cinemas?

bbrown1
bbrown1 on February 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm

That could be right, or maybe Clinton Highway Cinemas, since it was still a long way from the town of Clinton. I’m still not sure!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Any pictures of the Twin Aire guys.Sure wish i would have snapped one on the many times we drove by it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 12, 2011 at 12:37 am

Found the land was owned by Mrs.Mary LaRue part of a 40 acre farm sold in 1969 to Simpson Theatres.

tntim
tntim on June 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I have positioned streetview to the location of the main entrance on Callahan Road. The street sign/marquee was approximately where the Taco Bell sign is now, on Clinton Hwy at Callahan. My dad helped with the installation of the projection equipment and brought me along for the ride. I was only twelve at the time, and wish now that I paid more attention and had taken some pictures. It’s funny how you think that something that is new will be around forever.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Yeah,you and all of us would have had some great pictures,but i have done the same thing,never thinking about snapping a few pictures.

bbrown1
bbrown1 on July 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Great to finally see a photo of the marquee! INCOMING FRESHMEN was released in 1979, and actually filmed in Knoxville, so I would assume that is the year of the photo.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for the PICTURE>>>>>GREAT.

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