Center Theatre

119-121 Commerce Street,
Kingsport, TN 37660

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Center Theatre

The Center Theater was opened January 26, 1948 with James Stewart in “Magic Town”. It closed as a theater in 1955. The building was used as a factory outlet furniture store for many years after.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Bruce Gentry

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JackCoursey on October 20, 2007 at 5:32 am

Here is an archive photo of the Center Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2010 at 4:30 am

The description accompanying this photo of the Center Theatre from the Kingsport Public Library collection, gives the address as 119-121 Commerce Street.

The public library of Henderson County, North Carolina, has published a book titled “Buildings as History” which is about the works of Hendersonville architect Erle G. Stillwell. The Center Theatre in Kingsport is listed as one of the many theaters he designed.

davidfhale on September 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Here is an article from the Archives of the City of Kingsport about the Center Theater. There is a nice night-time exterior shot of the theater, and photos of the souvenir program from opening night.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The Center Theatre had a brief life. It would open on Monday, January 26, 1948, according to the article in the previous day’s edition of The Kingsport Times.

The newspaper also ran a brief article about the theater’s architect, Erle G. Stillwell, and his firm, Six Associates. Stillwell, though a master of the streamlined style of the day, revealed to the reporter that he much preferred to design theaters in the atmospheric style, which had by 1948 fallen out of fashion, and that he had a special affection for the Spanish and Mediterranean styles.

The article also gave the names of the other five of the Six Associates at that time: engineer Samuel Clinton Minnich, Jr., architects Henry Irving Gaines and W. Stewart Rogers, plus William Waldo Dodge, Jr. and Anthony Lord, each of whom was both an architect and an engineer.

rivest266 on September 21, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on September 22, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Also closed in 1955

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