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Central Cinema is a community moviehouse located in the heart of North Knoxville's Happy Holler neighborhood.

Our Story

Central Cinema was founded by the creators of the Knoxville Horror Film Fest, who have been programming local film events for more than a decade. Years of sustained cultural momentum convinced us Knoxville deserves the type of eclectic film venue so many less-cool cities already enjoy. Hundreds of generous fans proved us right, contributing more than $30,000 to a GoFundMe campaign. After a year of fundraising and fine-tuning, we'll open our doors in the summer of 2018.


Every weekend we present a selection of classic films and/or first-run independents, usually including both Family Matinees & cult movie-oriented Late Shows. This standard programming is complemented during the week by special film & arts events of all sorts. (Click through to our Films page to browse current & upcoming programming.)


Central Cinema's single auditorium features 4K digital projection and 96 seats custom-decorated with movie moments selected by friends and supporters. At the end of the adjoining gallery hallway is our concessions lounge, featuring both inside seating and a deck for good times & discussion before and after film screenings.

Snack Bar

Central Cinema offers a variety of food and drink options, from movie theater staples to locally-sourced treats and a selection of canned & bottled beers... all priced well below what you're used to paying at the concession stand.


Central Cinema has low tolerance for poor theater etiquette, and reserves the right to remove patrons for talking, cell phone use and other behaviors that can ruin a night out at the movies for others.


Central Cinema's auditorium features wheelchair-accessible seating options. Larger patrons should be advised that most of our seats are more compact than those at a standard multiplex; if this becomes an issue during your visit please contact a manager and we'll do our best to accommodate you. We do not currently offer captioning options for hearing impaired patrons but intend to make it a priority as our operations expand.


1205 North Central was originally built as a silent moviehouse in 1916, becoming the first "suburban" theater in the burgeoning Knoxville metro area. The theater changed hands many times over the next four decades, operating under names including the Picto, the Central, the Liberty, the Cameo, the Joy (pictured above circa 1933) and the Center. The building was repurposed in the 1950s, and most recently served as the Taoist Tai Chi Center until Central Cinema began renovating the space in 2017.


Central Cinema
1205 N Central St
Knoxville, TN 37917


$10 Evening
 Students & Military
$8 Matinee & Seniors
$7 Kids


Friday & Saturday 11am – 12am
Sunday 11am – 9pm
Mon-Thurs one hour before showtime


We’re located in the heart of Knoxville’s “Happy Holler” neighborhood, just one mile north of Downtown and easily accessible via I-275’s Baxter Avenue exit. Free street parking is available throughout the surrounding blocks.