Palace Theatre

72 S. Main Street,
Crossville, TN 38555

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Showing 21 comments

Trolleyguy on December 7, 2022 at 7:47 pm

Nice story and history here with interior pictures. Palace

DavidZornig on May 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm

Six 2019 photos added credit Society for Commercial Archeology. Lobby and auditorium.

Patsy on April 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Nice to see the NRHP designation in 1993.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 17, 2015 at 5:36 am

Here is a 1952 photo of Crossville’s Main Street with the Palace Theatre at left.

TN_Fisherman on November 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I am a 2nd generation ‘Homesteader’. Spent many hours viewing ‘movies’ at Palace Theater!! Cumberland Homesteads was 5 miles from Crossville….

To TLSLOEWS — FYI — Lots of places to make your ‘trip’ to Crossville to see Palace enjoyable: May I suggest you visit Cumberland Homestead (and Homestead House) Museums, and Cumberland Mtn State Park which has a wonderful restaurant….

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 6, 2011 at 3:09 am

Well.have you driven over yet.LOL.

TLSLOEWS on February 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Nice looking theatre will have to drive over from Nashville to check it out.

Patsy on December 31, 2009 at 2:56 am

The stone facade on this theatre is truly amazing and very unique!

movieboi on June 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Hi all,

If anyone can remember me Im the little boy who basically lived in the theater throughout my young and teen years. This landmark means more to me and my life than anyone can image. My memories of the theater are full of excitement and joy as I didn’t realize how lucky I was until now as i look back in time with my family who used to run it. Yes My Grandfather Leon Smith (Bud) ran the theater some 35 years and was the projectionist 10 years before that when Eddy johnson was the manager.My memory will always be where my playground was and still is in my hart and mind.

Curtis Smith

sdoerr on February 25, 2007 at 6:29 am

Restoration architects were Sparkman & Associates Architects, Inc.

Meghann on January 3, 2007 at 9:22 am

Hello Everyone,

I was “involved” with the whole restoration of the Palace Theater in my hometown of Crossville. Downtown Crosssville Inc (DCI) was the driving force behind it from the ground up. DCI consisted of the president,Dr. Richard E Bradley (my father),Treasurer,Mrs Carol Darling,and Board of Directors Member Mr Jim Purcell(also head of the local vocational school). I too remember the sight some of you remember,no roof,no seats; just the ghost of what she once was. I will never forget the feeling of walking in on “opening night” and seeing all their hard work paying off. I am so happy Crossville now has the Palace to list as an attraction and as part of history of a small town on the Cumberland Plateau
Meghann Bradley

John Coles
John Coles on June 1, 2005 at 9:22 pm

We took U.S. 70 through the Cumberland Plateau and stopped in Crab Orchard to get a small sample of the stone. The man who owned the quarry was Lynn McDaniel, I believe. He was proud of the work the students had done on the Palace’s facade. He mentioned the name of the instructor who supervised them and the quarry from which the stone was taken. I’ve forgotten both names. But, I’ll always remember how his face lit up with a smile when we asked him about the Palace Theatre project. I wish folks who were indifferent to saving our Garden Theatre in Charleston could have understood the far reaching impact such a project has on so many people in and nearby a community. It’s the kind of thing that makes a place a community and not just a place.

Patsy on June 1, 2005 at 7:56 pm

John R: As the community should be……“a justifiable pride in this restored treasure”! Friends of mine are very proud of their hometown theatre and go often!

John Coles
John Coles on May 31, 2005 at 2:06 pm

The Palace is wonderful but the real story is the community. They have done a wonderful job with the Palace. By chance I found out that the restoration of the stonework was done by students at the community’s building school using the beautiful local crab orchard stone from a nearby quarry. The community of Crossville has a justifiable pride in this restored treasure.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 31, 2005 at 2:11 am

Just to let you know that I have just done a count on the current seating plan on offer on the website. Total seating is currently 302 + 6 disabled spaces in the orchestra level. Seating is currently split as 222 in the orchestra and 80 in the balcony.

I know FDY’s can vary from edition to edition, my copy of the 1943 FDY also gives 300 seats. The 1941 edition gives the Palace name, but no seating capacity, usually this indicates a new theatre that hasn’t sent its data into FDY.

I wish I could down there sometime on one of my visits to the USA, it looks like a real ‘cinema treasure’.

John Coles
John Coles on May 31, 2005 at 12:44 am

The Film Daily Yearbook of 1945 lists the Palace as having 300 seats. You cannot rely on the seating figures in Film Daily Yearbook. Reported seating figures varied for a number of reasons. The balcony of the Palace would have seated about 90 people. It could be that the 1950 FDY counted the balcony but the 1945 edition did not. An accurate seat count might be found in the local newspaper of November 1938, when the Palace opened. The original seating figures do not seem to appear on their official web site.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 10:47 pm

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook, 1950 edition as having a seating capacity of 399.

John Coles
John Coles on May 30, 2005 at 9:53 pm

Hi Charles..thank you so much for the photo of the Palace. Doing so continues our luck in researching the theatres. Brings back fond memories of our visiting the Palace. How is Hawaii? Mmmmmmm. Cheers, Mark and John

Patsy on February 26, 2005 at 9:26 pm

A friend of mine in Crossville sent this email in regards to their Palace…..“It is definitely in our little town. We have gone to many things there since we have lived here. They have a full schedule of activities with Christmas shows, political debates, performances by all kinds of show people, plays, band concerts,etc. so it’s very much an asset to the community and the restoration is wonderful.”

JohnColes on July 28, 2004 at 7:53 pm

Mark Tiedje and I visited this gem of a theater recently. It is beautifully and brilliantly restored. Through the lobby are entrances to the auditorium and a small cafe and gallery. Those involved with restoring and operating the Palace Theater of Crossville have or admiration and gratitude for doing it right. This is an excellent model for anyone trying to save a local theater.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 12, 2004 at 6:00 pm

I visited the Palace in the Fall of 1992. Entering through the stage door, or rather, where the stage door once hung, I stepped into a sight which I will not soon forget.

The walls of the Palace are Crab Orchard Stone (a lovely local stone, yellow in color) on the outside and concrete block on the inside. The masonry was in good shape, however the roof was laying on the seats. The steel trusses still crossed from side to side, but the ENTIRE wooden roof deck had collapsed into the auditorium. The wood-framed balcony likewise had sagged to the point where it didn’t look adviseable to walk beneath it.

The little 1-story lobby was more or less intact as was the box office and quite handsome marquee. Since the wooden stairs looked as rotten and the balcony, I didn’t try going upstairs.

The subsiquent restoration has been nothing short of phenominal. To restore this all-but-destroyed building and creating a vibrant community theater shows talent, dedication, forsight and exceedingly rare good common sense!

Congratulations to the committee who performed this minor miracle!