The Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club

Service To Mankind

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Meeting 2-8-17

Lila Honaker with the Tennessee Theatre gave us a history lesson with
pictures. The theatre first opened on October 1, 1928 with 2,000 seats and
air conditioning! It was designed by Chicago architects Graven & Mayger
in the Spanish-Moorish style. It also featured a Wurlitzer Organ of which
we are proud of today. After a refurbishment in 1966, the seating capacity
was reduced to 1,545. The theater changed owners several times over its
life, and eventually closed for the first time in 1977. Thereafter it was
open and closed intermittently for the remainder of the late ‘70s. It was
purchased by Dick Broadcasting in 1981, (Mr. Dick was a former member of
Sertoma). He started a renovation effort to prepare it for the 1982 World’s
Fair. On April 1, 1982, the theater was placed in the National Register of
Historic Places. It is now home to the Knoxville Opera and the Knoxville
Symphony Orchestra. The Wurlitzer was installed at the time of the opening
in 1928. It was built by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company in New York and cost
about $50,000 at the time. In October 2000, virtually the entire organ was
shipped to Reno, Nevada to be restored. It was returned in August 2001.

Next Week:
Jerry Faerber is bringing us Micky Dearstone.

Jacob Tippens did the prayer and Ron Grimm led the pledge. Mike Burnett and
another gentleman from the University Club came by to get flyers for the
St. Patrick’s Day Gala and would you believe we didn’t have any! Is that
Murphy’s Law or what? He indicated he is planning to attend and hopes to
generate some interest at his club.

is back with us but is still having to take life easy. He did bring copies
of an article written by our own Al Gill and published in
the Friends Journal in the fall of 2016. Nice to have heroes with us.