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Tennessee Theatre hosting free fall festival for Knoxville community

The Tennessee Theatre will open its doors to a free Fall Festival Open House during First Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 with fall-themed activities, snacks and history tours of the iconic venue.

“The Tennessee Theatre belongs to the community, and we want to take every opportunity to open our doors to the public,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “Drop by our theater during First Friday to enjoy some music, food, history and fall fun!”

The fall festival will include a caricature artist who will draw free portraits of attendees and the iconic theater marquee; apple cider and fall treats; music on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ; and free backstage tours led by theater historians. The tours will leave the lobby at 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m., with groups limited to 50 people per tour, so guests are encouraged to arrive early.

“The Tennessee Theatre is one of the most beautiful examples of 1920s movie palaces,” Hancock said. “By opening our doors for tours and community events, we hope to remind Knoxville what a spectacular asset we have on Gay Street.”

In 2014, the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation undertook the task of documenting the theater’s 86-year history in a commemorative book. Over the past year, the foundation has collected hundreds of historic photos, newspaper articles and documents, as well as interviewed dozens of past employees and patrons to ensure the memories of the Tennessee Theatre are recorded for future generations.

The 228-page coffee table book will be available for pre-order at the Fall Festival event for holiday gifts. The history book is sponsored by Clayton Bank, Regal Entertainment Group and Visit Knoxville.

Published October 25, 2014

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