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A Note On Re-Closing - June 30, 2020

To our friends & fans -

Over the past two weekends it’s been our pleasure to host a “trial re-opening”, presenting five of our favorite crowd-pleasers to gauge Knoxville’s interest in returning to the movies. We’re proud of our work creating a safe, comfortable experience, and are grateful to our customers for embracing our guidelines on masks and distancing. It was nice to see (the top half of) so many familiar faces, and some new ones as well!

Unfortunately this same period has also seen a sobering uptick in COVID-19 infections on a local, state and national level. For this reason we’ve decided to take a step back, and will be discontinuing public film events for the time being.

This “trial re-closing” doesn’t mean Central Cinema is headed back into full hibernation mode. We’ll be stepping up our private rental options, which allow a controlled environment above and beyond public screenings. (Email us for more info; prices start at $200 for up to 25 guests.) We plan to finally roll out take-home popcorn & beer options, and to make our promised Central Cinema Drive-In Experience a reality. And if you’re interested in supporting us without leaving the house we continue to offer streaming options, memberships, merchandise and gift cards here on our site, as well as the $30 “adopt-a-tile” offering via our COVID Catch-Up GoFundMe campaign.

We’ll be back as soon as we can justify it, and we’re excited to work with all of you find find our new normal together. But in the meantime we hope you will stay home, wear a mask when you have to go out, and find safe ways to support local businesses as they navigate these same shitty waters.


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re observing enhanced safety measures to promote your comfort and well-being.

Face Mask Required For Entry

We're all in this together, and there is broad consensus that community mask use can be crucial in preventing the spread of the coronavirus... so for your safety and ours we insist that face coverings be worn in our hallway or lobby area. We also strongly encourage mask use in the auditorium when not snacking or drinking, especially if others are seated nearby. (We also strongly encourage mask use pretty much anywhere you can't breathe fresh air six feet away from a stranger! It's the right thing to do.)

Limited-use masks are available for a nominal fee; if you find yourself here without one, please come in through our rear parking lot entrance and we'll fix you up.

Socially Distanced Seating

We’ve reduced our capacity to 35% to ensure safe distance throughout our auditorium. That means just 30 tickets are available per screening, so be sure to grab yours in advance!

Please be courteous when taking your seat by leaving six feet of space, or roughly three seats, in all directions between your group and others. The more thoughtful you are of others, the more everyone will enjoy their trip to the movies.

When the film is finished we encourage you to leave promptly and thoughtfully to avoid unnecessary crowding. We do, however, welcome and encourage you to take the time to wash your hands before you go.

Enhanced Cleanliness Measures

We’ll be working in accordance with Knox County Health Department guidelines to maintain high standards for hygiene and operational safety. Hand-washing is constant, bathrooms and relevant surfaces are regularly disinfected, and we've spaced out our showtimes to allow for thorough, uninterrupted cleaning between each screening. Markers have been placed in our lobby to designate safe queueing distance. Nachos & hot drinks have been discontinued for the time being, and our candy selection has been moved behind the counter.  We appreciate your patience if any of these measures cause delays or inconvenience.

Your Safety Is Our Concern

Like virtually all public activities circa Summer 2020, moviegoing involves an inherent risk of coronavirus transmission. We encourage you to make your own informed choices for your health. Stay safe, Knoxville... and if you’re showing symptoms or have been exposed, please stay home.