For those of you not familiar with the Bijou Theatre here is a little history from the Bijou Theatre website. The Bijou Theatre opened March 8, 1909, as part of an already existing hotel known as the Lamar House. Built in 1817 as a hotel and tavern, the Lamar House is the fourth oldest building in Knoxville. It now houses The Bistro restaurant and the theater’s offices.
The first performance held at the Bijou was Little Johnny Jones starring George M. Cohan on the theater’s opening night. In the next several years, performers including the Marx Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie and many others graced the stage, presenting vaudeville, opera, comedy and more. Special guests watched from the elegant boxes on either side of the stage, while Knoxville’s black theatergoers were relegated to the uppermost balcony during the days of segregation.
Here are a couple of upcoming performances at the Bijou Theatre.
Stellar mandolin player Chris Thile at Bijou Theatre
Who: Chris Thile and the How to Grow a Band featuring Bryan Sutton
When: Wednesday, May 23, 8 p.m.
Where: Bijou Theatre
How much: $19, plus applicable service fees, available starting Friday, March 23, 10 a.m. at the Tennessee Theatre box office, all Tickets Unlimited outlets, by phone at 656-4444 or online at KnoxBijou.com.
At 25, Chris Thile has accomplished more than most: 2 million albums sold with Grammy-winning Nickel Creek, six solo albums (his first at age 12), a side career as an in-demand studio musician, and collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck and Jon Brion. But, ultimately, moving to New York was the catalyst that reminded Thile why he started playing the mandolin in the first place. And it’s where he brought together a new-generation bluegrass band to record 2006’s How To Grow A Woman From The Ground.
Amos Lee at the Bijou Theatre
Who: Amos Lee
When: Wednesday, April 25, 8 p.m.
Where: Bijou Theatre
How much: $19.75, plus applicable service fees, available now at the Tennessee Theatre box office, all Tickets Unlimited outlets, by phone at 656-4444 or online at KnoxBijou.com.
Supply and Demand, the second studio album from Philadelphia native Amos Lee, illuminates his growth from emerging singer-songwriter to established recording artist. From the sparse, powerful, family elegy “Long Line of Pain,” to the country ‘n’ R&B-flavored title track, “Supply and Demand,” this album is rich with big league songwriting, compelling musicianship and captivating vocals.
If you plan on attending one of these events you’ll need to know where to park downtown Knoxville. Several parking lots and on-street metered spaces are located near the Bijou Theatre. The closest parking is a pay lot across Cumberland. The State Street, Market Square and Locust Street garages are free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. Some on-street parking is available on surrounding streets. This link has a map of downtown parking locations.