The Bijou Theatre has been around since 1909 when it opened to a sellout crowd with the play “Little Johnny Jones,” starring George M. Cohan and his popular tunes “Yankee Doodle Boy” and “Give my regards to Broadway.”
The years following Cohan’s performance included that of American jazz composer and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, the Marx Brothers, along with others presenting comedy, vaudeville and opera.
Since the olden days, Knoxville’s Bijou Theatre has come a long way, having many well known and up-and-coming musical artists grace its stage throughout its illustrious history. Such names include the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, pianist Monty Alexander, The Ramones, and vocalists Henry Rollins and Dave Matthews.
There is something about knowing its past that enthralls one when attending a show. The theater presents an almost magic-like atmosphere.
The Bijou Theatre’s official website mentions that the storied building “has an atmosphere that’s perfect for live music and the performing arts. Many performers and music fans consider the Bijou the best-sounding room in Knoxville, and with a capacity of just over 700, every seat in the house is a great one.”
Despite going through tough times in 2005 with its past owners, former Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam made it so this historic building will be around for many years to come. With his guidance, an estimated $2.1 million were raised to help the theater receive much needed renovations.
“The Bijou represents an important part of Knoxville history and as a performing arts venue, contributes to the growing energy in our downtown,” Haslam said at a press conference in 2005.
The Bijou was closed for a year, but now appears to be back better than ever. Six years since its reopening, Knoxville’s fourth oldest building is consistently bringing in a wide variety of musical acts that is sure to please even the most critical guests.
So why not attend a show and experience the theater’s magical atmosphere yourself? Valentine’s Day is near, and it is assuredly an ideal place to take your date.
Here is a full list of upcoming artists.
For more information concerning the Bijou Theatre’s history, please click here.