Chapman Highway Drive-In
7406 Chapman Highway,
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The Chapman Highway Drive-In was located on Chapman Highway (Highway 441 South) in South Knoxville. 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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