Westown I & II

7600 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, TN 37919

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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 19 comments)

tntim
tntim on May 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm

The article in Boxoffice about the opening. Please note that the original name was Westown Ulra-Vision Theatre, not Westown Cinema. The name was changed to Westown I & II after it was twined. Also the seating capacity was 800, not 1000.
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tntim
tntim on September 25, 2011 at 4:18 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 3:10 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 11:43 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 6:18 pm

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

nimrod
nimrod on January 5, 2012 at 4:20 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 3:05 pm

thanks again for the updates.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 1, 2012 at 11:07 am

Described in this 1973 trade article: Boxoffice

sporridge
sporridge on March 16, 2013 at 7:17 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 April 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

An aerial photo of the theatre can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheneworth/2675617640/ It is the oval building in the lower left hand corner of the mall parking lot.

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