Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Backstage tour of the Tennessee Theatre

Tennessee Theatre gave what I understood was a first-ever behind the scenes public look in honor of First Friday in Knoxville. It turns out that I was wrong. This tweet set the record straight.
She also let me know that the stage was expanded from about 19 feet to 45 feet. How's that for cool? I want to send Becky a big thanks for the information on the Tennessee Theatre. (You'll want to know that she is active on Twitter @bupperoni and is a great person to follow!)

Eager participants lined up for the 5:30 p.m. tours. Visitors got to learn about the founding of the Tennessee Theatre and the incredible multi-million dollar renovation project.

We also found out about the variety of performances hosted today. From concerts to Broadway plays, the Tennessee Theatre seems to do it all.

The tour group that I was in was treated to a mini-organ concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. The organ is the pride of the theater for a reason. It is impossible to hear it and not be spellbound.

Organs like this one were marketed as a unit orchestra. This simply means that one organ was designed to replace an entire orchestra. A theatre need only hire one musician instead of dozens. Of the 2,000 that were sold only about 20 remain. Knoxville is truly fortunate to have one of them.
I can now say that I've been on stage at the Tennessee Theatre. We were allowed to stand there and look out over the auditorium. The next tour hadn't started yet so there was no audience to greet us. (Just my luck.)

I wish that I could say how many feet the renovation added to the stage but my place in the back of the group wasn't conducive to hearing everything. My guess-estimate from what I noted is that the stage is more than twice the size that it once was. The expansion allows a wider variety of acts to appear at the venue.

A wine tasting was offered as part of the tour and a music group played in the lobby. Hopefully, the Tennessee Theatre will offer a tour again. It was an absolutely splendid evening.

Updated 10/10/13 as stated above and to make a couple of edits.

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