Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Allan Yeomans

Committee Members

Albert J. Harris, Thomas P. Cooke


The purpose of this study was to investigate the history of the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, and to ascertain the importance it had on the community during the first four decades of its existence. The wealth of talent which played on its stage during these forty years of legitimate drama (much of it coming from touring stock companies) make the theatre a landmark within the city of Knoxville.

This study should help further the resolve of the general populace of Knoxville to preserve the Bijou as an important monument to Knoxville's cultural heritage. The renovation of the old theatre not only will be historically significant, but it will utilize a theatre facility which was designed with acoustics and other features to make it one of the South's finest theatres.

The author hopes that this chronological history of the theatre from its earliest days can help illustrate that the Bijou was much more than the pornographic movie house it was to become during the 1960's and early 1970's. Just as it was a thriving legitimate theatre, it can be once again.

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