East Tennessee History Fair Open House and Screenings
Aug 18

East Tennessee History Fair Open House and Screenings

Tennessee Theatre

Knoxville, TN

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The Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound once again partners with the Tennessee Theatre to present a day of archival films during the annual East Tennessee History Fair! The Theatre will open at 11:00 a.m. for an open house in which visitors can explore backstage, with films from the TAMIS vaults screening throughout the day, culminating with a screening of the 1957 feature film, "A Face In The Crowd," starring Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal. The open house will resume during breaks at the top of each hour. The full schedule is listed below. All screenings are FREE and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation and the Friends of the Knox County Public Library! 

Screening Schedule:

A Tribute to John Ward - TAMIS remembers broadcasting legend John Ward, beginning with a 1974 film capturing a busy day in the life of the “Voice of the Vols.” The 15-minute film follows Ward as he travels to Nashville to call a Tennessee football game, returns to Knoxville to call a Vols basketball game, records the weekly Bill Battle Show for television at the WATE studios, and conducts several radio interviews in between. We’ll also be showing an extremely rare short film made by local advertising firm Lavidge and Davis in the 1950s, featuring Ward giving a behind-the-scenes look at the firm’s studios. Rounding out the program will be vintage Vols footage, featuring clips from archival films of UT football games from the 1920s through the 1950s!

The Films of Walther Barth - New High Definition Transfers : The Dr. Walter Barth Collection of 16mm home movies feature some of the most unusual and interesting footage found at the TAMIS. Barth, a German native, began making 16mm home movies in 1927, capturing life in Germany and Europe before the rise of the Nazi regime. Barth emigrated to Binghampton, New York in the early 1930s, eventually moving to Knoxville. He continued filming into the 1960s, capturing fascinating footage of East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains.

One of TAMIS’s most popular collections, several of the reels were recently given High Definition transfers courtesy of the New York University and BB Optics Film Lab for a presentation at the annual Orphans Film Festival by TAMIS co-founder, Louisa Trott. We are excited to present a new half hour program of this one-of-a-kind footage, which has never looked better.

Theaters Segregated in All-America City: Knoxville Desegregation Protests of the early 1960s - In the early 1960s, students at Knoxville College organized protests of segregated restaurants and movie theaters in Knoxville, which had recently been designated an “All-America City” by the National Civic League. In the spring and summer of 1963, one of the focal points for marches was the Tennessee Theatre, and for several weeks the Knoxville Police Department filmed hours of protests there. Alongside WBIR news film, newspaper articles and archival interviews with Knoxville civil rights pioneers Robert Booker and the late Avon Rollins, this recently discovered footage provides a new view of crucial events in Knoxville’s history. 

Happy Anniversary Tennessee Theatre!  & Patricia Neal: We Called Her Patsy - TAMIS digs into the vault to find footage of the Tennessee Theatre throughout the years. Included will be news coverage of the premiere of “All the Way Home,” based on James Agee’s novel “A Death In The Family,” and a circa 1970 look at the workings of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ! Immediately following, produced by Heartland Series’ Bill Landry and Doug Mills, “We Called Her Patsy” explores actress Patrica Neal’s unique relationship with Knoxville. Created as a tribute to Neal for the 2010 Knoxville High School Class of 1943B reunion, this is the first time the film will be screened for a general audience.

A Face In The Crowd  - Join us for a special screening of director Elia Kazan’s 1957 classic film, in a rarely seen 35mm archival film print! The debut film of Andy Griffith shows a different side of the actor than what most audiences remember from “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock.” Griffith stars as Lonesome Rhodes, a singing drifter who finds national fame and political influence through his charismatic appearances on radio and television. Rhodes is aided by a producer played by Knoxville’s own Patricia Neal, who eventually comes to see the dark side of such power. (In a 2003 interview with the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Neal stated that this was the favorite of her films.) Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” the film’s reputation has continued to grow in the decades since its release. 

“A Face In The Crowd” film print preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Funding for this screening made possible by the Friends of the Knox County Public Library.


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East Tennessee History Fair Open House and Screenings

604 South Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

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