Roxy Theatre

413-417 Union Avenue,
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Roxy Theatre

The Roxy Theatre was opened on December 26, 1932 with The Four Marx Brothers in “Horsefeathers”. It was small, with 475 seats and presented small-time vaudeville as part of the program. It stood a half block west of Knoxville’s Market Square: a convenient, if not prestigious, location. The Roxy Theatre existed as a second run movie theatre for most of its existence (stage shows were dropped in 1948).

Several generations of school boys spent their Saturday mornings at the Roxy’s double feature westerns. Now gray-haired men, they will smile and tell of taking the street cars “uptown” to see Tom Mix, the Lone Ranger, Hop-Along Cassidy and friends.

The Roxy Theatre was closed on April 13, 1959 with Sophia Loren in “Houseboat” & The Bowery Boys in “Jinx Money”, and was torn down during Knoxville’s tragic wave of urban renewal to make way for a parking lot (c. 1965). Around 2005 the site was finally being redeveloped.

Contributed by Will Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

bbrown1 on September 12, 2007 at 7:44 pm

What a great article! When I lived in Knoxville in the 70’s, I could tell Market Square was just a ghost of what it had once been, and always wondered what it had been like earlier. I would love to see a photo of the Roxy!

CSWalczak on February 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

This story, towards the end, talks about the Roxy; apparently parts of it got recycled at another location: View link

seraphotodude on June 21, 2013 at 9:15 am

I live in the building that sits where the old Roxy used to be. I would love to blow those pictures up and hang them in our lobby. Would you mind to send me full size images, if you have them?

Thanks, Chris

tntim on January 4, 2016 at 6:45 pm

According to this article in Billboard, daily stage shows were dropped in January 1948. The theater itself closed in 1959. Link

rivest266 on September 3, 2018 at 10:09 am

This opened on December 26th, 1932. Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on September 6, 2020 at 9:02 am

Crisper, wider version of the circa 1941 Overview photo added courtesy Library Of Congress Public Domain. 1933 pre-code film “Damaged Lives” being shown as Adults Only.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on August 1, 2023 at 3:35 pm

The Roxy’s last day was Monday April 13, 1959. The bill was a double feature; “Houseboat” starring Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, Paramount Pictures, 1958 and “Jinx Money” starring the Bowery Boys, Monogram Pictures, 1948.

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