Knoxville Drive-In

128 Forrest Park Boulevard,
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: ABC Theatres, Plitt Theatres

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Knoxville Drive-In

The Knoxville Drive-In was opened on August 11, 1948 with James Stewart in “Jimmy Steps Out” (Pot o' Gold), and closed on September 28, 1980 with “Starhops” & “Girls For Hire”. When I lived in Knoxville during the 1970’s, it was run by ABC Theatres who later sold out to Plitt I believe.

When I visited Knoxville during the World’s Fair in 1982, it was being used as an RV campground, for fairgoers, and I guess it never reopened. The World’s Fair ended up destroying a lot of older central Knoxville that I remembered from the 1970’s, and the Twin Aire was the only drive in to survive the fair, although it only survived briefly. The Knoxville Drive In was located just off Kingston Pike just outside the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood, and was probably the most “upscale” drive in in Knoxville.

They usually showed A list movies, but I did see some great horror movies like “The Beast Must Die”, “The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe”, and “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death” there. I remember one time in the 1970’s, they ran a double feature of the original 1931 “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” there at a time when there were no “art houses” or retro movie theatres in Knoxville. I think there is a grocery store on the site now.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Great story tntim.knoxville had some Great Drive-ins.I thought RIVER BREEZE was one of the best.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm


tntim on June 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

According to to newspaper adds, the Knoxville Drive-In opened on August 11, 1948. I have posted this add in the photo section.

The April 2, 1949 date that was reported by Boxoffice Magazine appears to be a reopening date with new owners.

davidcoppock on November 3, 2017 at 10:29 pm

Mike Rogers, the Laurel and Hardy movie you mentioned, might be “Laurel and Hardy’s Laughing 20’s”(by Robert Youngson). I have it on video tape.

50sSNIPES on November 25, 2019 at 6:00 am

A 3 Minute Reel Of Local Merchants Was Discovered On Vimeo, That Came From The Knoxville.

davidcoppock on November 25, 2019 at 6:35 am

Opened with a cartoon(not named), first run news, and “Jimmy steps out”.

davidcoppock on June 26, 2020 at 9:02 am

Closed with “Starhops” and “Girls for hire”.

tntim on July 30, 2020 at 11:50 am

The last movies shown were on October 19, 1980. The last newspaper ad is posted in the photo section.

Fotomac on February 17, 2021 at 6:07 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 11:53 am

Fotomac, The movie playing on July 15, 1977 was “Barbara”

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