KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new theater is coming to the Happy Holler neighborhood in North Knoxville. The lease has been signed on the space that will house Central Cinema. Plans are to have an independent theater to show all kinds of films , from classics to cult favorites, and films you’d likely not see in traditional movie theaters.
Central Cinema’s programming director William Mahaffey is hoping to transform the area that now houses the Taoist Tai Chi Society, which had already planned to move, into an intimate gathering place for people to watch a film, have a glass of wine, and talk about the film.
Thanks to crowdfunding, close to $16,000 has already been raised in just a month. The goal is to raise $50,000.
“It’s overwhelming, the response we’ve had. We’re excited that other people are as enthused about this idea as we are,” said Mahaffey.
There will be room for 80 to 100 people to watch a film. A lounge and bar area and outdoor deck complete the plans.
Mahaffey stresses the quality of the plan. “We’re going to have really good projection, really good sound. It’s going to be all about the cinematic experience, where you know there’s not going to be people texting and talking. They’re not going to have lights on.”
Remodeling is set to start in October. The plan is to open by December or January.
“We love older films. We love classics, 80s movies, cult movies, all different types,” said Mahaffey.
Mahaffey helped start Knoxville’s Horror Film Fest, which has enjoyed a successful nine year run at Downtown West.