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Movie Day treats hundreds of kids to magical day at Tennessee Theatre

June 22, 2017

 Iconic venue screened ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’

Today, more than 400 children from the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Summer Playground Program and Emerald Youth Foundation enjoyed an outing to the Tennessee Theatre for a screening of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”

The outing was part of the Tennessee Theatre’s third annual Youth Arts Alliance Kids’ Movie Day hosted at the iconic venue in downtown Knoxville.

“This theater is such a special part of our community,” said Becky Hancock, executive director of the Tennessee Theatre. “People of all ages should get to experience the magic of a day at the Tennessee Theatre. Through programs like the Kids’ Movie Day, the Tennessee Theatre’s Youth Arts Alliance strives to make this exciting place accessible to everyone.

TN Theatre Bill and Mighty Wurlitzer

The children, ages 6 to 17, arrived in the morning and listened to brief remarks about the theater and its heritage as a 1920s movie palace. Tennessee Theatre house organist Bill Snyder played classic songs on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ so the children could experience a similar movie setting as when the doors opened in 1928. After the concert, the kids enjoyed the feature film and popcorn.

“This field trip is meant to give children an opportunity to experience the history of Knoxville at such a beloved venue,” said Nikki Crutcher, recreation superintendent for Knoxville Parks and Recreation. “It was wonderful to see their awestruck faces when the kids walked through the doors. We partner with various community organizations, including the Tennessee Theatre, to give our kids enriching experiences.”

The city’s Summer Playground Program takes place at 10 recreation centers throughout Knoxville and offers children a variety of recreational and cultural activities, including museum visits, swimming, canoeing and fields trips to the Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center and the Tennessee Theatre.

The Emerald Youth Foundation works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children through a host of community programs. The organization, which has operated in Knoxville for more than 20 years, helps about 2,400 kids per year.

The Youth Arts Alliance education outreach program was founded in 2007 in partnership with Knox County Schools to help teachers incorporate arts and cultural experiences, such as theatrical performances, concerts, ballets and other entertainment, into curriculum. The alliance sponsors tickets for area public schools to expose students to the performing arts and organizes master classes with visiting performing artists. The program is funded through donations from individuals and businesses in the community.  Tax-deductible donations can be made online at

About the Tennessee Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tennessee Theatre is the region’s leading performing arts facility with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area. The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit organization tasked with maintaining and preserving the historic theater and ensuring diverse arts and cultural entertainment remains in downtown Knoxville.