Central Cinema is a community moviehouse located in the heart of North Knoxville's Happy Holler neighborhood. Following a year of COVID-19 closure we are now back to more or less full speed, offering a schedule of films, series and special events seven nights a week.

Our Story

Central Cinema was founded by the creators of the Knoxville Horror Film Fest, who have been programming local film events since 2009. 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 opened our doors in August 2018.


Every weekend we present a selection of classic films and/or first-run independents. This standard programming is complemented during the week by special film & arts events of all sorts. (Click through to our Screenings page to browse current & upcoming programming.)


Central Cinema's single auditorium features digital projection and 88 seats. 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 popcorn, candy, nachos, bottled soft drinks and a selection of canned beers & ciders... all priced well below what you're used to paying at the concession stand.


Central Cinema's auditorium features wheelchair-accessible seating options. We do not currently offer captioning options for hearing impaired patrons, though open caption screenings are available as part of our private rental services.


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, and the Center. The building was repurposed in the 1950s, and most recently served as the Taoist Tai Chi Center until Central Cinema renovated the space in 2017.


Mask use is required for unvaccinated customers when not eating or drinking, and strongly encouraged even for vaccinated patrons.


Central Cinema
1205 N Central St
Knoxville, TN 37917


$10 Adult
 Students & Military
$8 Members & Seniors
$5 Kids
$15 Double Features any time


We open for business 30 minutes before the day’s first scheduled showtime and close down our concession stand about an hour before the final film lets out. (Due to limited staffing we may be closed during extended down periods between matinee and evening screenings.)


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.

Safety Guidelines


Due to long-term problems with community spread of COVID-19 in Knox County, we continue to strongly encourage vaccinated patrons to wear a mask when not eating or drinking. We continue to require unvaccinated patrons to wear a mask. 

We are not currently enforcing a set cap on auditorium capacity, if only because the majority of Central Cinema screenings fall well below 30% attendance.