Queen Theatre

513 S. Gay Street,
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Queen Theatre

The Queen Theatre appears in a c.1920 postcard on the west side of Knoxville’s main downtown thoroughfare, S. Gay Street. It is along side, and farther south than the still-standing Strand Theatre at 415 S. Gay Street. It appears to be almost directly opposite the Riviera Theater (q.v.). No other information available.

Contributed by Will Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

tntim on July 5, 2006 at 5:16 am

I was told by the older projectionist about how the Queen was reversed and you entered the auditorium from behind the screen. I wish there were pictures of the interior.

Publix closed the Queen on September 29, 1928 only two days before they opened the Tennessee Theatre across the street in the next block.

richsaff on March 13, 2007 at 3:24 am

I remember being in one theatre in New York City in the early 60’s that you entered the auditorium from behind the screen. I don’t remember the name of the theatre, but it was fairly large, had a balcony, and was showing West Side Story 24 hours a day.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 13, 2007 at 4:09 am

Tim, do I remember correctly that Knoxville’s Bijou was also closed (temporarily)when the Tennessee opened? Was the Bijou also controlled by Paramount-Publix at the time? How many other halls closed in the wake of the Tennessee’s opening? Publix all but had a monopoly on the theatres in Knoxville didn’t they?

tntim on March 14, 2007 at 4:14 am

Mr. C.B. Atkins sold the Bijou to a Mr. Sherman in 1926 with the stipulation that the property would not be used for theatrical presentations for a period of five years. Mr. Atkins had an interest in Tennessee Enterprise which included all of the Publix’s theatres in Knoxville. They had plans to build a large movie palace at this time, and wanted to make sure to limit competition. Of course that movie palace was the Tennessee that opened in 1928.

They did not completely shut down competition since Mr. Booth opened his Booth Theatre in mid September of 1928, just two weeks before the Tennessee opened.

tntim on July 31, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Distance shot of the front can be found here:
View link
Zoom the picture out and you can see the Riviera across the street.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 3:13 pm

You guys seem to know Knoxville . I have a Knoxville Newspaper with the movie ads I found in a relative’s house. Oct 20 1964 THE LENOX THEATRE.I submitted it to CT,but can’t find it; is this a theatre that got a name change.The address is so small it looks like Broadway St or Road or Ave,? Thanks.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Chuck 1231. They must have added the “N” later cause my Newspaper Ad Oct 20,1964 it is the LENOX.Wonder why the extra “N”. Thanks.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on July 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm

Tim, Replying to your post on July 31 2010. Notice on the link, the film at the Riviera is “The Bedroom Window” which IMDB lists as opened in June 1924 starring May McAvoy and Malcolm McGregor. Showing at the Queen is the 1923 western “The Fighting Strain” staring Neal Hart, written by Neal Hart, directed by Neal Hart, titles by Neal Hart, executive producer was (3 guesses!) Neal Hart.

jwinfree on October 20, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Does anyone know if issues of the Queen News survives? There’s a scan included in Ronald Allen’s book, listed as his personal collection. No telling where it is now…

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 22, 2022 at 2:54 am

jwinfree, I have not seen issues of the Queen News. Something like that would be the definition of ephemeral, but absolutely worth keeping an eye pealed for!

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