Twin Aire Drive-In

6777 Clinton Highway,
Knoxville, TN 37912

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Simpson Theatres

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Twin Aire Drive-In

The Twin Aire Drive-In was opened on October 17, 1969 with William Smith in “Run Angel, Run” on its 600 car capacity ‘East’ screen & Dick Clark in “Killers Three” on the 500 car capacity ‘West’ screen. I think closed about 1985. It was located on Clinton Highway north of Knoxville on the left before you get to Powell. I heard there is now a Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site.

The Twin Aire Drive-In had a large, modern glass enclosed concession stand so you could see both screens while in concession stand. It also had a decorative fountain in the area between the screens. It was built and owned by the Simpson Theatres chain. In the 1970’s, they were opened year round seven nights a week with double or triple features on both screens. I went there often in the 1970’s, and they were usually packed, especially on weekends.

Some time after I left the Knoxville area in about 1978, they closed down the West outdoor screen, and following demolition, built a small two screen indoor theatre on that side connected to the concession stand which was named Clinton Cinemas. The East screen operated as a single screen which was closed on September 8, 1988 with Bruce Willis in “Die Hard”. The Twin Aire Drive-In was in a very scenic location that was mostly rural, and then just outside of town. One of the screens was built up against a large hill. I assume the land was sold as that area became more suburban, and property values went up. It was demolished in 1989 and it became another drive-in that fell to Wal-Mart.

The Twin Aire Drive-In may have been the last theatre left in the Simpson Theatres chain by then. In the 1970’s they owned the Riviera Theatre, the Capri Theatre, the River Breeze Drive-In, and the Chapman Highway Drive-In, all of which I think closed before the Twin Aire Drive-In.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the PICTURE>>>>>GREAT.

NYozoner on November 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

6777 Clinton Hwy
Knoxville, TN 37912

The above address will map accurately to the location of the drive-in, which is now the site of the Northwest Crossing Walmart Supercenter.

rivest266 on September 4, 2018 at 1:36 am

This opened on October 17th, 1969. Grand opening ad posted.

Robbie Stewart
Robbie Stewart on March 27, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Back in the late ‘70’s we used to live down the street from the Twin Aire in the former Green Acres Trailer Park (now Woodland Meadows). Jim Clayton owned Green Acres back then and had his corporate office in an old motel across the street from it whilst his Mom (Ruth Clayton) managed the park at the time. As such, we used to go see movies at Twin Aire just about every weekend back then. I remember seeing “Good Guys Wear Black,” “The Rose,” “The Legacy,” “Little Darlings” and “Smoky And The Bandit, Part 2” there. Back then, it was either Twin Aire or Powell Cinemas for us, unless Mom took us down to Gatlinburg for the weekend to see dad who was working there at the time.

tntim on June 30, 2020 at 12:15 pm

The Clinton Cinemas which were added in 1982 on the West side of the drive-in, now have a separate page. Link

Fotomac on February 17, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Can anyone remember what the feature was for the week of 15 July, when Star Wars came to town?

tntim on August 28, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Fotomac, The double feature’s playing on July 15, 1977 were on the east side: “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Mustang Country”. On the west side: “Joyride”, and “Heavy Traffic”.

50sSNIPES on November 3, 2022 at 12:08 pm

The Twin-Aire Drive-In actually closed on September 8, 1988 with “Die Hard”, not 1982. It was demolished later that year and became a Walmart which opened on August 31, 1989.

tntim on November 3, 2022 at 5:31 pm

50sSNIPES, You’re correct, it was 1988 that the East side closed along with the Clinton Cinemas. I must of had 1982 stuck in my mind when I typed that comment. Thank-you for catching my mistake. The West side did close on September 19, 1982. I have posted the final ad for the Twin-Aire West in the photo section.

MichaelKilgore on May 26, 2024 at 9:01 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 9, 1970: “Twin-Aire West Drive-In on Clinton Highway has been opened as the companion theatre to Twin-Aire East, which has been in operation since last fall. Twin-Aire West, which has a capacity of 512 speakers and 250 in-car heaters, was unveiled Christmas night with a cartoon carnival, "True Grit” and “My Side of the Mountain.” The other section of the Twin-Aire has speakers for 600 cars and 300 in-car heaters."

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