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April 16, 2015

April 16, 2015

For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell Jennings
Moxley Carmichael
(865) 255-0661


The Tennessee Theatre celebrates arts in Knoxville with a Spring Open House on Tuesday, April 28, from 5-9 p.m., which will include backstage tours, Wurlitzer organ music and a book signing and history talk by Jack Neely.

“Spring in Knoxville has traditionally been a time to celebrate and promote the arts in Knoxville,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “We are joining in the spirit of the Dogwood Arts Festival and welcoming guests to visit our theater and learn about the historic venue and the fascinating artists who have entertained audiences for more than 85 years.”

At the open house, Knoxville author Jack Neely will sign copies of the theater’s new coffee table book, which details the history of theater in downtown Knoxville from the early 1900s to the present. The book signing will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the lobby. At 8 p.m., Neely will give a history talk about facts that he uncovered during his research about the theater.

“In researching for the book, Jack uncovered numerous surprising anecdotes about the theater,” Hancock said. “From a live horse being brought on the stage of the Tennessee Theatre to a young Desi Arnaz performing a Latin dance show weeks before running away with co-star Lucille Ball, the Tennessee Theatre stage has seen it all.”

The open house also will include music on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ and free backstage tours led by theater historians. Tours will leave from the lobby at 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m. and are limited to groups of 60 people per tour. For guests interested in taking a tour, wristbands will be distributed in the lobby beginning at 5 p.m. when doors open. Tours are first-come, first-served, and wristbands or reservations will not be available before the event. Those interested in a tour are encouraged to arrive earlier in the evening.

The open house is supported by a grant from Central Business Improvement District (CBID) of Downtown Knoxville. For information on downtown parking for the open house and other events, visit or download the free mobile app available for Android and iPhone products.

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 center with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area. For more information, visit