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Tennessee Theatre welcomes families to free costumes and classic cartoons open house

October 13, 2015

Oct. 13, 2015

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


00212269The Tennessee Theatre will host a free day of cartoons, costumes and tours on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Families will enjoy Looney Tunes classic cartoons, music from the Mighty Wurlitzer and self-guided tours of the theater, including dressing rooms. Children age of 12 and under are invited to come dressed in family-friendly Halloween costumes.

“This free daytime event is perfect for everyone,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “In its 87 years of operation, the venue has a history of showing family-friendly movies and cartoons during the daytime, and we want to rekindle those memories and help create new experiences at the theater.”

During the Tennessee Theatre’s history, Saturday mornings were often dedicated to children’s programming with several memorable clubs over the decades that welcomed children to the theater.

Beginning in the late 1930s and into the 1940s, the Popeye Club offered a Saturday children’s film series with cartoons, movie serial and amateur stage show with house organist Billy Barnes, all for 10 cents.

The Chipmunk Club of the 1960s and 1970s offered cartoons and movies for the admission price of empty bags of Tom’s potato chips. The Chipmunk Club also featured a performance from Bobo the Clown.

“The main goals of our open house series are to make the theater accessible to everyone, regardless of age or income, and to tell the story of the Tennessee Theatre to the community,” Hancock said.  “We are very excited to relive the ‘Chipmunk Club’ at the Tennessee Theatre to offer a new generation this iconic experience. I’m also looking forward to seeing kids debut their costumes a week before Halloween!”

On Saturday, a short reel of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons will be shown at intervals between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each screening will be introduced with organ music played by house organist Bill Snyder on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

In between screenings, the theater will be open to the public for self-guided tours, including the dressing rooms. For guests interested in taking a tour, the entrance to the dressing room area is located in the lower lobby area.

Popcorn, soda, candy and other basic concessions will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation.

Children under the age of 12 are welcome to wear family-friendly Halloween costumes. Costumes must be family friendly and not scary. Toy weapons will not be permitted.

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