What an incredible 90 years it has been! We will be celebrating this milestone for 90 days beginning September 29, 2018 with special events, commemorative merchandise, behind the scenes tours, and more! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for exclusive giveaways, historical tidbits, pop-up events, and other surprises during our #90daysfor90years celebration. We’re pulling out all the stops to commemorate this milestone and hope you will celebrate with us. It’s because of YOU, our loyal patrons, that we celebrate 90 years!
Help us share the magic of the arts for 90 more years! Your donation will help us preserve this community treasure and open its doors to the community for free events so that all may enjoy the Official State Theatre of Tennessee! To mark our anniversary, we encourage a $90 gift, or any amount you wish to donate. Thank you to our 90th Anniversary donors.
Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation Board of Directors
|Eddie Mannis /
Jim and Rhonda Clayton
Randy and Jenny Boyd
Dr. Deborah Franklin
Camel Custom Canvas Shop, est. 1919
Engert Plumbing & Heating Inc., est. 1891
Gouffon Moving & Storage, est. 1887
Go get a wiggle on if you're hip to the jive
Arrive all dolled up, as this juice joint's no dive
Bookies, flappers, and gangsters, silent film stars
But everyone's welcome so come as you are
Drink hooch, play roulette, hear cat's-meow jazz
In a 90 year speakeasy with all the pizzazz
Party Prohibition-style with a nod to the Roaring Twenties, when the Tennessee Theatre first opened. The 90-Year Speakeasy event includes dancing, themed cocktails, casino games, and more surprises at the majestic downtown theatre. Tickets are $90 plus service fees and go on sale July 27 at 10 a.m. Tickets include 2 drinks and a cash bar will be available. Roaring 20's attire encourage. Click here for all the dirty details!
Beloved bluegrass musician Alison Krauss returns to the Knoxville stage for the 90th Anniversary Gala. In addition to recognizing the theatre’s past 90 years, the event will raise funds for the nonprofit’s ongoing preservation and free community events. VIP tickets, which include prime seating, reception and silent auction, are $250. Click here for more information about the VIP reception. Concert tickets are $85 and $65 plus service fees and go on sale July 27 at 10 a.m.
The Tennessee Theatre’s free monthly daytime event, featuring Mighty Wurlitzer organ performances, coincides with the theatre’s actual 90th anniversary date. In addition to celebrating the theatre’s opening in 1928, this very special Mighty Musical Monday also will honor Dr. Bill Snyder as he retires as the theatre’s House Organist, a position he has held since 1979. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the event starts at noon. Brown bag lunches and snacks will be available for purchase, or guests may bring their own lunch.
A 1928 Night at the Movies will feature a lineup of on screen entertainment typical of the Theatre's early years as a movie palace. Enjoy a vintage cartoon, sing-along, vintage newsreel from the era, comedy short, Wurlitzer organ performance, and screening of Clara Bow's "IT". The program begins at 7:30pm and admission is free, but you are welcome to bring 60 cents as a symbolic purchase of a 1928 opening-day ticket.
All tours have reached capacity. Please join us for the November 3 open house where you will be able to enjoy a self-giuded tour which will include the dressing room suites.
We will host a birthday luncheon on stage for those in our community age 90 or older with a catered meal, birthday cake, a Wurlitzer performance, party favors, and the sharing of memories! Spaces are limited, so reservations are required. Click here for more details about this luncheon and to register.
Join us for Costumes & Classic Cartoons from 11am-2pm, an event for the whole family honoring the cartoon clubs of our past. We will have trick-or-treat stations by Mast General Store featuring old time candy, face painting, popcorn, self guided tours of the dressing room suite, Mighty Wurlitzer organ performances, and vintage cartoons on the big screen. And we may have a few more surprises in store!
Join us for an open house from 10am-1pm on UT's Homecoming Day! Come explore the Tennessee Theatre with a self guided tour which will include the dressing room suite and stage, and discover the special details and history of the Tennessee! We will have special giveaways and a scavenger hunt, and refreshments will be available for purchase.
When the Tennessee was being built, films were silent so movie palaces such as ours has theatre organs used to accompany the film. By the time the Tennessee opened, films had soundtracks so our Mighty Wurlitzer organ was used as pre-movie entertainment rather than to provide the music and sounds for the film.
On this afternoon, we will show Buster Keaton's The Cameraman accompanied by Freddie Brabson on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ. It's a unique and magical experience to see a silent film with the organ providing the music and sound effects.
Have you ever felt the peacefulness of the Tennessee Theatre when the seats are empty and the room is quiet? Or seen the view from the stage? In celebration of our 90th Anniversary, we are hosting a pop-up yoga class on stage on Monday, November 5. Join us for a 60-minute class for all levels led by Becky Soto who teaches at the YMCA- Lindsay Young, Downtown Knoxville and experience the Tennessee in a whole new way. This event is free and doors will open at 6pm. Namaste!
Few people have researched and compiled more facts, details, and little-known secrets about the Tennessee Theatre and its nine decades than author and historian Jack Neely. Jack wrote the text for our beautiful book, “The Tennessee Theatre: A Grand Entertainment Palace” which was released in 2015. Now Executive Director of the Knoxville History Project, Jack will present a FREE lecture about the Tennessee Theatre’s fascinating history in the Theatre auditorium on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00, seating is general admission, and no reservations are required. Copies of the book will be available for sale at a special anniversary price of $40.00, and Jack will be available to sign copies.
Join us for a classic holiday film screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” presented by Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. Released in 1946 and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey, a compassionate but debt-ridden manager of a bank in typical small-town America, and the angel that helps him realize his importance in the world. This free event, made possible by Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and experience the beautiful Tennessee Theatre. General admission seating is available on a first come, first serve basis and is limited. Doors will open one hour prior to the showing. Screening are at 2pm and 6pm.
In celebration of our 90th Anniversary and to preserve the oral history of the Tennessee Theatre, we are inviting the community to share their memories by scheduling a recording session facilitated by our Executive Director, Becky Hancock. Each session will last up to 50 minutes. Participants will sit down with Becky who will talk with them about their special memories. Sessions will be recorded for archiving and for special audio projects celebrating the Tennessee Theatre. We would love to hear your stories! Click here to learn more or to schedule a session.
We are pleased to announce our third annual limited edition ornament, which this year celebrates this important milestone. Hand crafted by European artists, this gorgeous piece is a collector item. Stay tuned as we will have more commemorative merchandise to come! Click here for more information or to purchase.