Legislation to name the Tennessee Theatre the state theatre of Tennessee was crafted at the request of the Board of Directors of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation.
Senate Bill No. 883 was introduced by Senator Ben Atchley, Knoxville, on February 11, 1999.
The Tennessee Theatre, at 604 South Gay Street in Knoxville, became the state theatre of Tennessee when Governor Don Sundquist signed Senate Bill No. 883 on May 17, 1999.
The Tennessee Theatre is known as "Knoxville's Grand Entertainment Palace."
This glorious venue is magnificent to behold.
From the gorgeous terrazzo tiles in the lobby, to the majestic domed ceiling of the auditorium, to the expanded backstage and dressing areas, Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace takes you back to a time when the stars of the silver screen reigned. Join us on a tour of the Theatre and hear the stories of the people who made their impact on this glorious space. Take in the details of the handpainted frescoes, the meticulously reproduced carpeting, and the state-of-the-art theatrical upgrades.
To arrange your personal tour of the theatre, please contact Dr. Bill Snyder at 865-684-1200 or Kevin Clark at 865-684-1200 x141.
CHAPTER NO. 166
SENATE BILL NO. 883
Substituted for: House Bill No. 1096
By Buttry, Hagood, Bittle, Boyer, Tindell, Armstrong, Dunn
AN ACT To designate the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville as "The State Theatre of Tennessee".
WHEREAS, The Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville recently celebrated its 70th anniversary; and
WHEREAS, Today, the Tennessee Theatre holds the distinction of being the only theatre in Tennessee to be named in honor of our great state; and
WHEREAS, Several years ago, the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation was formed to preserve this historic edifice through non-profit ownership and operation; and
WHEREAS, With the aid of an architectural firm specializing in theatre restorations, plans have been developed for the phased renovation and facility modernization of the 1928 structure; and
WHEREAS, These modifications will add to the versatility of the stage in accommodating opera and stage productions; the Tennessee Theatre's capacity will be restored to its original 1,800 seats, and all occupants will enjoy the new climate control system; and
WHEREAS, As the restoration plans have progressed, it has become abundantly clear that a great number of Tennessee memories reside within the walls of this historic building, as well as in the minds of those fortunate people who once watched the Saturday movies and serials at the Tennessee Theatre; and
WHEREAS, With the capacity to serve a full theatrical spectrum, the Tennessee Theatre will become a unique entity representing the past and projecting the future of the region; and
WHEREAS, The Board of Directors of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, in concurrence with the organizations represented thereon, has unanimously requested this General Assembly to recognize the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville as the official state theatre of Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, This General Assembly most heartily concurs in this excellent proposal; now, therefore,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Tennessee Theatre is hereby designated as "The State Theatre of Tennessee".
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.
The following information was excerpted from the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 1, Part 3, Section 4-1-324.
Title 4 State Government
Chapter 1 General Provisions
Part 3 State Symbols
Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-1-324 (2011)
4-1-324. State theatre of Tennessee.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Tennessee Theatre is hereby designated as "The State Theatre of Tennessee."
HISTORY: Acts 1999, ch. 166, § 1.
 "Historic Tennessee Theatre - Tennessee Theatre Tours." Historic Tennessee Theatre. Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Sep 2011.
Tennessee General Assembly. Senate Bill No. 883. Nashville:The State of Tennessee, 2011. Web. 20 Sep 2011.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.
Historic Tennessee Theatre: Official website of the historic Tennessee Theatre, established in 1928 in Knoxville.
The Rehab Tax Credit at Work: Knoxville's Historic Tennessee Theatre: National Trust for Historic Preservation.
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Tennessee state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.