Chapman Highway Drive-In
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The Chapman Highway Drive-In was located on Chapman Highway (Highway 441 South) in South Knoxville. I don’t know exact address, but it was close to the current intersection of Chapman Highway and John Sevier Highway, on the left as you were going out of town.
When I lived in Knoxville in the 1970’s, the Chapman Highway Drive-In was run by the Simpson chain. They ran almost exclusively “hard R” or “soft X” sexploitation movies: not really pornography, but drive-in sex movies, where the titles sometimes sounded “dirtier” than the actual movies. I know that for over a year, they showed the sexploitation classic The Cheerleaders, with revolving second features. I’m not sure how old the Chapman Highway was, but it looked older than most of the other drive-ins in Knoxville, so I assume they at one time showed more mainstream movies. I think it closed in the 1980’s, and I’m not sure what is on the property now.
The Chapman Highway Drive-In was at the time, and may still be, the only movie theatre, indoor or drive-in, in South Knoxville (south of the Tennessee River), unless there was an unknown older theatre in the South Knoxville, Island Home, or Vestal neighborhoods earlier.
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