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Will, everything that you pointed out is dead-on accurate. Here are some other factors that I believe played in the closing of this theatre.
After Regal opened their FunScape with 9 screens in West Town Mall, Carmike had to answer with a larger theatre. So, they built one of their Windsong theatres in an area that was supposed to become more developed than it did. With the Turkey Creek upscale retail development coming alone a short time later, Regal seized the opportunity to build the Pinnacle 18 megaplex with Imax.
I think that Carmike was willing to compete with Regal in their own backyard, but after the AMC buyout, I’m not sure that AMC had the same level of interest in the Knoxville market. After the pandemic, the decision for AMC to pull out of Knoxville became much easier.
It’s interesting how history often repeats itself. In the early twentieth century, Publix had complete control of the Knoxville market. Loews decides to try to break into the market in 1920 by leasing the Staub’s Theatre, extensively remodeling, and reopening it as the Loews Theatre. That lasted 18 months and they pulled out leaving Publix, and later Wilby/Kincy, as the only movie chain in Knoxville until the 1960’s. Today, Regal is the only national chain in Knoxville.
As of July 11, 2023, AMC has listed this theatre as close on their website. With the exception of a couple of independents, Knoxville is now an exclusive Regal city.
Photography Credit: Kevin Fides commissioned by Fort Worth Historical
The final movie was “Joe Butterfly” on August 29, 1957. Last ad is posted in the photo section.
The Rialto opened on Market Square in September 1929. I posted the newspaper article in the photo section which stated the the projection equipment from the former Gay Street location was moved to the new location. Even though “The Two Outlaws” was released in 1928, the Rialto was a second or third run theatre, so it would of taken a year for them to get the picture.
Joe Vogel, yes, I got ahead of myself and typed the k and l backwards in Edward Okel’s name, not only once but twice. My apologies to Mr. Okel.
I found an article from the March 12, 1908, edition of the Knoxville Sentinel which reported that the architect was Edward Olek of Montgomery, AL. Olek also designed the Enzor Theatre in Troy, AL. and the Grand Opera House in Montgomery, AL.
The fire on June 27, 1958 completely gutted the theatre which didn’t rebuild. A new roof was placed on the former auditorium walls, and a new front was build as part of the reconfiguration to retail. I have posted a 1922 picture in the photo section.
The fire happened on June 27, 1958.
Jake, the former lobby area has been demolished, but the old auditorium structure has been repurposed for retail. I have posted a recent picture in the photo section.
PLEASE NOTE: the caption date is incorrect. The correct date is September 8, 1988.
50sSNIPES, You’re correct, it was 1988 that the East side closed along with the Clinton Cinemas. I must of had 1982 stuck in my mind when I typed that comment. Thank-you for catching my mistake. The West side did close on September 19, 1982. I have posted the final ad for the Twin-Aire West in the photo section.
FYI, the bump-out at the rear of the auditorium was not for seating. This was for enlarging the lobby.
I posted a current photo of the side of the building in the photo section. it looks like it may have had a stage with a fly loft.
The Lakemont opened on June 18, 1948. It was the first drive-in built in the Metro Knoxville area. I have posted the opening ad in the photo section.
I posted a recent picture of the front of the screen in the photo section.
The portion still standing was the Capri III & IV, (former Capri-70), which was gutted and repurposed as an art gallery.
Fotomac, The double feature’s playing on July 15, 1977 were on the east side: “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Mustang Country”. On the west side: “Joyride”, and “Heavy Traffic”.
Fotomac, The double feature playing on July 15, 1977 was “The House by the Lake”, and “Strange Shadows in an Empty Room”.
Fotomac, The double feature playing on July 15, 1977 was “Outlaw Blues” and “Freebie and the Bean”
Fotomac, The movies playing on July 15, 1977 were “Spicy L.A.”, and “Forbidden Pleasures”.
Fotomac, The double feature playing on July 15, 1977:“Felicia” and “I Feel it Coming”.
Fotomac, The movie playing on July 15, 1977 was “The Deep”.
Fotomac, the Riviera closed on January 7, 1976.
Fotomac, The movie playing on July 15, 1977 was “Smokey and the Bandit”.