2900 Alcoa Highway,
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Previously operated by: ABC Theatres
Previous Names: Starlite Drive-In
The Starlite Drive-In opened on November 3, 1949 with Bing Crosby in “Blue Skies”. It was closed in 1955. It was renovated and reopened as the Cinema Drive-In on June 15, 1956. It was located on Alcoa Highway, about five miles south of Knoxville. It was on your left as you were driving from Knoxville to Alcoa. The Cinema Drive-In was run by the ABC chain during the 1970’s, and like most of the drive-in’s in Knoxville, it did not survive the 1982 World’s Fair, having closed in 1981.
The drive-in was actually located behind a small group of businesses on the highway. There was only a small space on the highway with the marquee and the driveway that led back to the theater. The back of the screen was against the back of the businesses, and it had a pleasant "rural" atmosphere, as the land behind it was undeveloped.
Storage units are now on the site.
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