Our policies


In cases where two parties wish to book the same date, the following policies and procedures will govern how dates are placed on “hold” and how “held” dates can be “challenged.”


Please submit an inquiry form to begin the rental process.

Holds may be placed on any date (up to one year in advance) for which a lease has not been executed.  Any hold on the calendar more than one year in advance will be considered tentative until the final scheduling of Tennessee Theatre Priority Events. 

We will place a “hold” on any date (or dates) you request, provided there is not a lease agreement already executed with another party for that date.

If you are the first to request a date, you are given the “first hold” for that date.  This gives you first right of refusal so that we will not sell the date to another party without first giving you the opportunity to execute a lease agreement and secure the date. 

If a hold (or holds) already exists on a date in which you are interested, we will place a “second hold” (or third, etc.) on the date.  This gives you the option to execute a lease should those with holds above yours not finalize arrangements for the date.  This applies to dates held for Tennessee Theatre Priority Events.

We will hold your date at no cost until either ninety (90) calendar days following the date the hold was first placed, OR ninety (90) calendar days prior to the event, whichever comes first. 

At that time, or if the hold is placed within ninety (90) calendar days of the proposed event, you will  be required to execute a lease agreement for your date(s) and provide full payment for all deposits and advance fees. Lease and deposits must be returned within fourteen (14) calendar days.  Acceptable form(s) of payment will be at the discretion of the Tennessee Theatre. 

Should you wish to secure a date that is being held by another party, the following procedures will apply: 

  • Notify the Tennessee Theatre management that you wish to challenge the party holding the date you want. Upon approval of rental application, we will prepare a lease agreement for your signature and inform you of all deposits and advance fees due under the terms of the lease.  Please note: not all held dates are subject to challenges. 

Upon receipt of the signed lease and all deposits, we will inform the first party holding the date that they have seventy-two (72) hours in which to secure the date through the execution of a lease and payment of deposit fees. Should the party release the date or not meet the 72-hour deadline, the date will be yours (under the provisions of the executed lease). 

Should the first party secure the date, your deposit will be refunded in full and your lease agreement will be destroyed. 

Please see the rate card for a listing of all charges. Any questions about the rate card should be directed to the Theatre manager prior to signing the Lease agreement. 

All lessees will be provided an estimate of rent and all other expenses with the lease agreement. 

For events with paid tickets or other generated income, the minimum deposit required will be one-half of the rent.  This amount is due with the signed lease agreement. Any exception to this policy must be incorporated in writing into the lease agreement. 

For non-ticketed, free, or private events where no income is generated, the rental amount will be due with the signed contract.  The expenses and/or remainder of the amount due as shown on the estimate will be due seven (7) days before the event.  FAILURE TO PROVIDE FULL PAYMENT WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE CANCELLATION OF THE EVENT AND THE DEPOSIT WILL BE NON-REFUNDABLE. 

A damage deposit will be due with the signed lease agreement. If at the assessment at the conclusion of your event, no damages are found, this amount will be applied against the final amount due.

For events with paid tickets or other generated income, final and full payment of rental fees and charges for all other services are due at settlement immediately after the last performance. Any exception to this policy must be incorporated into the lease agreement. 

The management of the Tennessee Theatre strives at all times to adhere to the Theatre’s mission statement while operating it in a fiscally responsible manner. These booking policies are designed to give guidance to the Theatre management. Nothing contained herein is intended to limit the General Manager’s discretion in the booking or negotiation of contracts that, in the professional judgment of the manager, would be in the best interest of the Tennessee Theatre. 

Theatre Guidelines and Services


Thirteen (13) orchestra level seats and four (4) balcony level seats have been allocated to patrons in wheelchairs, with an equal number of seats for companions. These seats will be held for disabled patrons until 5:00 p.m. on the day of show; after 5:00 p.m. any unsold seats will be released for sale to the general public. 

Additionally, sixteen (16) aisle seats throughout the orchestra level are equipped with transferable arms, which offer patrons with disabilities the option of sitting in fixed Theatre seating when possible.

The box office, main concessions area, and all public restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The public elevator in the lobby serves all levels (balcony, orchestra, and lounge). Parking facilities adjacent to the Theatre have reserved spaces for vehicles with disabled parking permits.

Accommodations for those in wheelchairs are also available in the dressing rooms and backstage areas. For information, please contact the Technical Director.

Hearing Impaired 

The Theatre auditorium is equipped with an FM hearing-assist device.  Accompanying hardware is made available to any patron upon request.  A photo ID is held until the hardware is returned. Sign Language interpreters during performances should be requested two weeks before the day of show.

Sight Impaired 

Upon request, suitable locations can be made available to sight impaired patrons. 

Advertising and Promotions 

The lessee is responsible for communicating to its patrons the Tennessee Theatre’s accommodations for the disabled. In addition, the Theatre strongly suggests presenters to use the following language in all advertisements and promotional materials: 

Patrons with special needs are encouraged to contact the Tennessee Theatre at 865-684-1200. 

Special Assistance 

While at the Theatre, if a patron needs personal assistance, please ask any Theatre employee and he/she will either assist the patron as requested or locate the house manager immediately. 

Technical/Theatrical Equipment 

Deliveries of production or technical equipment, such as stage lighting, sound, or other theatrical instruments; scenery and sets; road cases; or the like shall be sent to the loading door on State Street.  Please consult the “Technical Information” section of this site for loading door dimensions, exact address, and directions. 

Rental Items 

A complete delivery schedule of all rental and/or vendors’ equipment and other items must be provided in writing at least five (5) business days before your event. Rental items may be defined as chairs, tables, linens, decorative flowers, catering supplies, etc. Any deliveries not listed on the schedule are subject to refusal. 

ALL rental and/or vendors’ equipment must be removed from the Theatre immediately after the last performance. Anything left overnight may result in additional charges. 

The Tennessee Theatre is not responsible for the loss or damage to any rental or vendor equipment. 

In the interests of life safety and of fire prevention and protection of the Tennessee Theatre and its patrons and staff, the minimum standards stated below shall apply to all events, private or public. 


No sets, scenery, displays or other impediments shall interfere in any way with access to any required exit or with the visibility of any required exit sign. Required exits are including but not limited to entrance/exit doors and doorways, and hallways or corridors leading to these exits. Exits shall remain unlocked and free from obstruction at all times. 

Aisles and Pathways 

All public aisles and pathways must be clear of any obstruction, including personal items (handbags, umbrellas, etc.), easels and placards, signs, etc. 

Firefighting Equipment 

All fire hose cabinets, fire extinguishers, manual pull stations, and any other fire protection equipment, whether in public or backstage areas, shall be visible and accessible at all times. 

Combustibles, Special Effects, Pyrotechnics 

The following are PROHIBITED anywhere in the Theatre: Compressed flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquids, open flame or open flame devices, cut greenery (e.g., Christmas trees), hazardous chemicals or materials, Class II or greater lasers, blasting agents, explosives, and pyrotechnic devices.  Under special circumstances, limited use of the above items may be permitted by the authority having jurisdiction provided adequate precautions are taken to prevent the accidental ignition of any materials. For permits or procedures for the use of pyrotechnics, please contact the Technical Director. 


Concert programs, literature on display, etc. must be kept to reasonable quantities; reserves shall be kept in closed containers and stored in a neat and compact manner in areas designated. The Theatre management reserves the right to discard without notice any remaining programs or literature after the rental period. 

Stage Fire Curtain 

At no time during any rehearsal or performance shall the Fire Curtain be obstructed from full travel to the stage floor. All fixed staging and set pieces shall be placed upstage or downstage of this position with a minimum of a 0’-4” of clearance. Any disregard of this policy may result in immediate cessation of the rehearsal or performance and all deposits will be non-refundable. 


Vehicles shall not be displayed in the lobby at any time. Vehicles may be displayed on the stage subject to the following conditions: 

  • All fuel tank openings shall be locked and sealed in an approved manner to prevent the escape of vapors. Fuel tanks shall be no more than one-quarter full or contain more than four (4) gallons (15 liters) of fuel, whichever is less. 
  • At least one battery cable shall be removed from the batteries used to start the vehicle engine. The disconnected cable shall then be taped. 

Fueling or de-fueling of vehicles is not permitted. 

Please check the dimensions and weight restrictions of the scenery lift (in the “Technical Specifications” section) to ensure the vehicle can enter the building. 

Flame Retardant Treatment 

Draperies, curtains, set pieces, scenery, and other similar loosely hanging furnishings and decorations shall be flame resistant as demonstrated by passing both the small-scale and large-scale tests of NFPA 701, Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films. Acoustical and decorative material such as to cotton, hay, paper, straw, moss, split bamboo and wood chips shall be flame-retardant treated to the satisfaction of the authority having jurisdiction. Sample materials may be required for testing purposes. Flame Retardant Certificates must be provided. Materials which are not flame retardant shall not be used. 

The Tennessee Theatre will provide basic first aid services and supplies to patrons as needed. Those requiring assistance should ask any Theatre employee, who will direct them to the appropriate person. In case of a life-threatening medical emergency, please alert any Theatre employee immediately and call 911.

Upon request up to two weeks before day of show, a licensed EMT can be provided on site during public occupancy. This will result in a fee for services rendered. 

Front of House Staff (House Manager, Box Office staff, Ushers, etc.) will be provided and scheduled by the Theatre Management based on the type of the event and at the sole cost of the Lessee. The Theatre reserves the right to determine the minimum number of house staff. Please consult the Rate Card for applicable charges. 

At the Theatre’s sole discretion, trained volunteers and/or other non-paid personnel may augment House Staff.  All House Staff must be approved by the Theatre Management and meet the personal requirements for duties performed.

Insurance coverage is required of all lessees of the Theatre. Please consult the Lease Agreement for exact insurance requirements, the full cost of which will be borne by the lessee. 

A marquee located on Gay Street is available for users of the Tennessee Theatre to advertise their events free of charge, so long as the event is open to the public. Marquee space is to be distributed fairly at the discretion of the Theatre management. Displayed information must include the following information: Presenter, Event Title, Date, and Time. Additional information may be listed only if space allows. Marquee information must be provided in writing to the House Manager no less than thirty (30) days prior to the first performance.

All private events, advertising, or other special usage of the marquee is subject to availability and will result in a fee charged. Consult the rate card for information. 

When renting the theatre, we have two private rooms located near the catering prep room that can be set up for seated or standing-room events.

The Glenn Miller Room is located backstage and can accommodate approximately 40 people seated at tables or about 60 people for a standing reception. This room is commonly used for event production or other backstage purposes and is not always available.

The Opera Angel Lounge is located front of house at the Lounge Level, adjacent to the elevator lobby. The Angel Lounge can accommodate approximately 12 people seated at tables or about 18 people for a standing reception.  

For additional information about either of these rooms, please contact the Assistant Manager.

The sale of any merchandise, programs, or other novelties is subject to control by the Tennessee Theatre.  The Theatre will acquire twenty-five percent (25%) of gross receipts of all sales, including sales tax.  If the lessee provides a seller, the Theatre will acquire twenty percent (20%).

An inventoried list of all merchandise, programs, or other novelties to be sold shall be provided to the Theatre Management upon request. 

The Tennessee Theatre requires security personnel on site at all events. The Theatre shall provide for a fee a private security contractor and, at the General Manager’s discretion, uniformed Knoxville Police officers. The number of security personnel and duration of their service is solely at the discretion of Theatre management. 

In accordance with the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, firearms and other weapons are not permitted on the property of the Tennessee Theatre “... where alcoholic beverages are sold or served.” This policy is strictly enforced and will result in the offender’s immediate ejection from the Theatre and notification of law enforcement.

All patrons may be subject to a search upon entering the Tennessee Theatre. 

All backpacks, briefcases, large parcels, and other bulky personal items are not permitted inside the Theatre. Patrons attempting to enter with such items will be required to return them to their vehicles.  Theatre personnel cannot check such items. 

Backstage entry is intended for event staff, performers, production crew, and Theatre staff only. Admittance to backstage for all other guests is controlled by a guest list. Guest lists must be submitted in writing to Theatre management on the day of show upon request. Guests under the age of 16 must be chaperoned at all times. 


All signage advertising your event must be professionally produced. Hand printed or “homemade” signage will not be accepted. Theatre management reserves the right to reject any signage deemed inappropriate.  

There are shadowboxes facing the sidewalk on Gay Street and underneath the marquee for signs. Please consult with the Theatre management for size requirements and availability of these shadowboxes. 

Prolonged display may result in deterioration of signs. The Theatre will remove any signs showing excessive wear and tear. 

Temporary signage may not be taped, hung, or otherwise affixed to any portion of the Theatre’s exterior.


Signage SHALL NOT be taped, nailed, tacked, or otherwise affixed to ANY interior surface of the Theatre. Violation of this policy will result in a 100% forfeiture of the damage deposit noted in Section 1 of the Lease Agreement. 

Any posters, flyers, handbills, or displays promoting upcoming events are restricted to contracted events occurring at the Tennessee Theatre. Any material promoting events at venues other than the Tennessee Theatre must be approved in advance, or they will be removed and discarded. 

Except for signage directly related to the performance, the use of temporary signage on easels and banners is discouraged. When temporary signage must be used, it must be professionally produced. 

Hand printed or “homemade” signage will not be accepted. Theatre management reserves the right to reject any signage deemed inappropriate. 

Temporary signage and displays must not interfere with public aisles and pathways. 

Temporary signage and displays must not interfere or cause to be moved or altered in any way displays or signage already set by the Theatre. Permission to change any existing Theatre display must be obtained in writing three (3) days before your event. 

Upon request, the theatre can provide one skirted, topped 8’ table for temporary displays during the run of their event. Materials displayed at this table must conform to the policies outlined in this document. Placement of this table rests solely with Theatre management. 

Signage for event sponsors must be approved in advance and must not conflict with existing Tennessee Theatre sponsors.  Direct competitors of existing Tennessee Theatre sponsors may not be promoted on site without preapproval by Theatre management.

In accordance with Tennessee state law, The Tennessee Theatre expressly prohibits smoking, including electronic cigarrettes, anywhere inside the building either backstage or front of house. Violation of this policy may result in the offender’s immediate ejection and an additional cleaning fee for the lessee. 

Patrons may smoke outside on Gay Street and re-enter only if their ticket stub is retained. Performers and production staff and crew may smoke outside at the back of the Theatre on State Street only.  

Smoking is not permitted outside the Stage Door or anywhere on Clinch Avenue unless otherwise noted.

The Tennessee Theatre requires all technical and theatrical labor to be performed by members of IATSE Local 197, the stagehands’ union. The Theatre’s Technical Director will schedule all labor and the Theatre reserves the right to determine the minimum number of hands per call. For rates, please consult the rate card and/or the Technical Director. 

The Tennessee Theatre provides one on-site box office for ticket sales to public events on an exclusive in-house basis. The Theatre’s box office is designed to offer patrons the highest level of buying convenience. Furthermore, the Theatre’s box office will assist in realizing the maximum returns for ticket sales while maintaining box office security and accuracy of the ticketing operation.

The Tennessee Theatre maintains the right to: control the ordering of all printed tickets through a bonded ticket agent (Ticketmaster), staffing of ticket sellers, box office hours and operations, ticket sales revenue (both advance and day of show) through the completion of final settlement, and the approval of any complimentary or discount tickets.

The Theatre’s Box Office Manager will, through a bonded ticket agent, order all tickets. A bonded ticket printer’s manifest and all tickets will be shipped directly to the Tennessee Theatre and verified by the Box Office Manager. No other tickets will be approved for sale at the box office, nor will they be honored at the door.

Consignment tickets will be issued at the sole discretion of Theatre Management. All consignment and/or group sales will be required to pick up and pay for tickets at the box office. NO TICKETS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT FULL PAYMENT IN ADVANCE. Discount tickets and coupons or other special offers must be approved in writing, in advance, by the Marketing Director and/or the Box Office Manager or they will not be honored at the box office or at the door on day of show.

The General Manager will schedule a meeting for the lessee with the Box Office Manager to review show hours, seating capacity, box office procedures, ticket prices, ticket printing, discounts, and other items that are the lessee's responsibility.

The lessee shall provide twenty (20) complimentary tickets to the Tennessee Theatre for each performance. The Tennessee Theatre reserves the right to choose the corresponding seats.