Westown I & II

7600 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Westown I & II

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This theater was located in the north-east corner of the parking lot of West Towne Mall, near the corner of Kingston Pike and Morrell Road. It was a circular building in the style of a Cinerama house, but my memory of it was always two screens. The lobby had huge plate glass windows looking out, and a central semi-circular concession stand.

West Towne Mall opened in 1972, and one may assume the "Westown" cinema was opened at the same time.

I recall seeing "The Empire Strikes Back," "Hellraiser," "Heathers" and "Fanny and Alexander" here. When West Towne underwent major renovations in the late-1980’s or early-1990’s, the cinema was demolished in favor of a new in-mall multiplex.

Contributed by Martin Hennessee

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

bbrown1
bbrown1 on February 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Wow, I had forgotten all about the Fox! I remember now I actually went there once, to see THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. I lived in East Knoxville, and rarely went very far out Kingston Pike. As I remember the Fox was west of the Westown Mall. The Capri complex always seemed kind of strange, theaters built next to each other more than what is thought of as a multiplex nowdays.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Westown got it Price increase from the nearby Knoxville home office of Plitt Theatres. If they get “JEDI” prices will be $4.50 for adults and $2.50 for kids.

tntim
tntim on September 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

If you look at the photos of this theatre in Charleston,http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/27447/photos , you are looking at the Westown Theatre. Both were Identical in appearance.

davidfhale
davidfhale on November 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm

tntim, that’s it exactly. That design could be built as two theatres, with the box office and concession stand in between the two auditoriums.

The Westown was originally a very nice theatre – large screen, good sound system, and comfy seats. I imagine the twinning process spoiled most of that.

ryderdvs
ryderdvs on November 23, 2011 at 9:43 am

This was a nice theater. I remember seeing E.T., and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? there. I can also recall, in 1987, riding in the car on Kingston Pike, and seeing a bunch of Jesus-freaks standing outside the theater with picket signs, protesting Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Anyone that worked here please check out REMEMBERING PLITT THEATRES on Facebook.

nimrod
nimrod on January 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

If I’m not mistaken, the very first film to show in the new theater was The Getaway with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. I also vividly remember watching The Hobbit at a midnight showing there, probably 1978 or 79.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

thanks again for the updates.

sporridge
sporridge on March 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

For those keeping track of former Ultra-Vision venues, there were also two in South Florida: The Ultra-Vision Twin in Deerfield Beach (now demolished after 25 years as a church)

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/15990

and the Dolphin in Palm Springs (near West Palm Beach)

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/31804

Lifespans for both: 1971 to 1985.

The photo of the Westown is very similar to a Deerfield Ultra-Vision auditorium.

tntim
tntim on June 21, 2014 at 7:53 am

Westown Theater opened on December 20, 1972. The theatre closed as a single screen theatre on October 16, 1983. After the theatre was twined, it reopened as Westown I & II on October 28, 1983. The last day of operation was on June 28, 1990, and it was demolished shortly after.

When Westown opened, it replaced the historic Tennessee Theatre downtown as the flagship theatre for ABC Southeastern Theatres in Knoxville. When Bill Courey, the city manager, was asked what the future for the Tennessee was, his response was; “We will continue to operate it, but it is hard to keep a large theatre that is located in the downtown area, and my guess is we will have to close it. After that, I am afraid it will become a parking lot.” Today the Tennessee is alive and enjoying the best years of its life, and the theatre that was built to replace it is now the parking lot.

An aerial photo of the theatre can be found here: link It is the oval building in the lower left hand corner of the mall parking lot.

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