Historic Tennessee Theatre

604 South Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

865-684-1200

About Us:

The magnificent Tennessee Theatre first opened its doors on October 1, 1928 and was hailed as “the South’s most beautiful theatre.” When the first patrons stepped inside downtown’s “movie palace” to see their favorite stars on the silver screen, they paid only 40 cents for matinees and 60 cents for evening shows (children paid only 10 and 15 cents).

Designed by Chicago architects Graven & Mayger, the Theatre has a Spanish-Moorish style interior that incorporates elements from all parts of the world: Czechoslovakian crystals in the French-style chandeliers, Italian terrazzo flooring in the Grand Lobby, and Asian influences in the carpet and drapery patterns. It was one of the first public places in Knoxville to have air-conditioning.

In 1996, the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded with the purpose of preserving, maintaining, and operating the Theatre. The Foundation's Board of Directors was responsible for overseeing and raising funds for restoration and renovation of the building, which began in June, 2003. The former movie palace reopened on January 15, 2005 as a world-class performing arts center—the result of a $25.5 million renovation and restoration project funded through public and private donations. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, today's Tennessee Theatre has something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, drama, and stellar performances by today's hottest musicians. Local arts organizations such as the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera, at UT Cultural Attractions use the Tennessee Theatre throughout the year. The Theatre is also the site of special events; wedding receptions, private parties, corporate meetings, and other functions are enhanced by its magnificent interior. It is professionally managed and operated by A.C. Entertainment.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Knoxville
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW