Capri Theatre

148 W. Main Street,
Johnson City, TN 37604

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Deluxe Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Tennessee Theatre

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Capri Theatre

Opened as the Deluxe Theatre. It was renamed Capitol Theatre on September 4, 1925 and closed in 1928. Reopened as the Tennessee Theatre, it closed as the Tennessee Theatre in 1968. It reopened as an adult theatre, renamed Capri Theatre on November 26, 1969 and closed in 1983.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

BannerJohn1954 on December 9, 2007 at 9:42 pm

I saw a James Bond film there,the one with Lazenby. I remember it being BIG,and ornate. I sat in the balcony. It was bulldozed to make way for the Johnson City Press building.

Ripshin on March 30, 2009 at 7:21 am

No, it was demolished to make way for the BUS station. People were pushing for it to be torn down, due to its final years as a porn house. The Presbyterian church across the street was probably glad to see it go, although I attended church there at the time, and was sick to see that wonderful old building come down.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm

A De Luxe Theatre at Johnson City is listed in the 1922 edition of Julius Cahn’s guide. The Deluxe Theatre placed a courtesy ad in the 1923 edition of The Buffalo, the senior class yearbook of Milligan College in Johnson City. A 2007 book called Fiddlin' Charlie Bowman, by Bob L. Cox, says that Mr. Bowman appeared at the Deluxe Theatre in Johnson City in the spring of 1924, and adds that the “…stately entertainment center had been built just four years previously….” It’s quite possible that the Deluxe opened in 1920, and it was certainly open by 1922.

Ripshin on March 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

East TN was a “petrie dish” for urban renewal in the 70s. Just about EVERY small town was destroyed by the “experiment” – massive loss of significant architecture. Very sad.

sonarboy on March 27, 2014 at 1:45 am

This theatre was built for live performance before the advent of sound reinforcement. Great acoustics. The last ‘live’ show ever presented there was April 9, 1981. Produced by Joe ‘Tank’ Leach owner of The Down Home music venue. The show featured Roy Bookbinder, John Hartford and New Grass Revival. I recorded that show on 10" reel to reel tapes. The city lost a great cultural venue that cannot be built today. No foresight to this day.

rivest266 on September 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Closed as Capitol in 1928.

rivest266 on September 22, 2019 at 11:47 pm

Closed as Tennessee in 1968 and reopened as Capri on November 26th, 1969. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on September 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

Newspaper listings ended in 1983. Closed?

Ripshin on February 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm

I have added a pic taken today, of the theater location, a bus station since the 1980s. My description of the pic is somewhat incorrect. The front entrance to the theater would have been where the “left” driveway enters the bus station parking lot. The theater sat close to the corner of Boone and W. Main.

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