Palace Theater

136 W. Depot Street,
Greeneville, TN 37743

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Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 21, 2015 at 8:56 am

Joe and Ron, I’ll tell a mildly embarrassing story on myself. June 27 2014 I drove over to Greeneville (about a hour and half away) expressly to check out the theatres there. Went to the library, got copies of maps, newspaper clipping etc. Walked around, found the old theatres, took pictures. It was a nice summer day.

When I got home I found an empty folder on the back seat of my car. Driving with the top down, apparently every sheet had blown out and I didn’t notice. Expletives flew.

So I got a load of photos but no notes to make sure which was which or what the names and addresses were.

I have a photo of the 1903 cornerstone for the theatre on the corner of Irish and Depot. There is no name, just that date. Oddly, the cornerstone is on the back, facing the alley.(!?)

It seems that a lot of the buildings on both sides Depot in that block are owned by an antiques dealer who uses them for storage. The buildings appear to be secured, but underutilized.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 21, 2015 at 1:24 am

The 1909-1910 Cahn guide listed the Auditorium as a ground floor house with 1,024 seats. I haven’t been able to discover if it ever showed movies. A May 18, 2013, article in the Greeneville Sun calls it the “…old Greenville Opera House building….” but I don’t know if that was ever its formal name.

Greeneville also once had a theater called Snapp’s Opera House, dating from 1887, but it was on Main Street (either 120 or 122 Main.) The Auditorium was apparently a newer theater. There was once also a house called the Princess Theatre in the building next door to Snapp’s Opera House.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 20, 2015 at 9:40 pm

OCRon, there is another abandoned theatre just a couple of doors to the west at the corner of Depot and Irish. Same side of Depot.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm

If the addresses haven’t changed since the Sanborn map was made, then the likely Palace Theatre building at 136 Depot is still standing. It’s a four-story brick building with the second floor windows bricked up (probably to make room for a balcony) located on the north side of Depot a few doors east of Irish Street. In satellite view the roof looks to be in good shape, and there is a store of some kind on the ground floor but there is no readable signage.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Here is an item from the September 4, 1926 issue of Motion Picture News:

“Booth Ent. Acquires Three More in Tennessee

“E. M. Booth, president of Booth Enterprises, Greenville, Tenn., has announced that plans are being materialized for the building of new theatres in Greenville, Newport and Sweetwater, Tenn. Booth Enterprises already have theatres at these points and have recently taken over the Grand at Lenoir City and the Moneta at Sweetwater. Other houses in the chain are the Princess and Liberty at Greenville, Lyric at Jonesboro, Gay at Newport and Jefferson at Jefferson City.

In 1927, The Film Daily ran this item in its issue of July 20:
"Booth Firm Building Two

“Greeneville, Tenn.— Construction is well under way on the Palace, located on the site of the old Liberty and scheduled to open about August

“The building is being erected for the Booth Enterprises. Its opening will not effect plans for the theater to be erected on Main St., which will also be under Booth management. After the opening of the latter house, the Princess, also on Main St., will be redecorated. E. A. Booth of Greeneville is president of the company which controls besides the theaters in Greeneville, five other Tennessee theaters: the Lyric, Jonesboro; Gay, Newport; Jefferson, Jefferson City; Grand, Lenoir; and Moneta at Sweetwater.”

The recent opening of the Palace Theatre in Greenville was noted in the September 12, 1927, issue of The Film Daily.