WHERE DO I PARK?
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 6pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. Some on-street parking is available on surrounding streets. Click here for a convenient map of downtown parking locations. The Bijou Theatre is just below the center of the map.
CAN YOU SMOKE AND/OR DRINK IN THE BIJOU?
The Bijou Theatre is a non-smoking establishment, as is the adjoining restaurant, The Bistro.
A variety of beverages are sold at the concessions stand and are allowed in the auditorium. We do not currently serve snack or food items.
We’re cashless! Please be prepared to insert your credit card when our bartenders are ready for easy, touchless payment.
WHAT IS YOUR BAG POLICY?
Backpacks, duffel bags, and oversized purses are not permitted. Clear bags are not required. All bags are subject to search by security upon entry.
WHAT IS PROHIBITED AT THE VENUE?
Weapons of any kind, including pocketknives; outside food and beverages; smoking of any kind, including e-cigarettes; illegal substances; professional or flash photography, tripods, selfie-sticks; backpacks, bags, oversized purses, etc. Clear bags are not required.
For the safety and security of all patrons, all persons and items entering the Bijou Theatre are subject to search. The Bijou Theatre reserves the right to prohibit any item, including items not listed above, from entering the premises based on any particular show request or requirement.
WHERE DO I BUY TICKETS?
Tickets for Bijou shows are available by phone at 865-684-1200 option 2, or in person at the Tennessee Theatre Box Office located at 224 Clinch Avenue (10am to 5pm Monday-Friday). You can also purchase tickets online on the Shows & Tickets page of our website, and – unless a show is sold out – tickets will be available for purchase at the Bijou Box Office (located in the theatre’s lobby) one hour prior to show time.
Tickets for the following events held at the Bijou Theatre can be purchased as listed below:
- Knoxville Symphony Orchestra tickets can be purchased online at KnoxvilleSymphony.com or at Ticketmaster.com.
- Knoxville Opera tickets can be purchased online at KnoxvilleOpera.com, or by phone at 865-524-0795 (available Monday through Friday from 10am to 5:30pm.)
To ensure that your tickets are valid and that you are only paying face value, please purchase directly from our website, Ticketmaster, or the Tennessee Theatre Theatre Box Office on Clinch Avenue (or directly from Knoxville Opera or Knoxville Symphony Orchestra) rather than a ticket broker or unauthorized third party. Tickets are subject to cancellation if suspected of scalping or violating ticket limits for all events.
When using a ticket broker:
Our venues are not responsible for tickets purchased through unauthorized third party ticketing sites. Our box office can not replace your tickets if lost or stolen.
Our venue and box office team will not be able to guarantee that your tickets are valid and cannot guarantee admittance.
You will most always pay more than face value.
Our box office staff won’t be able to contact you with information regarding time changes, show cancellations, road closures or other information.
Our box office reserves the right to revoke tickets sold to a broker or unauthorized third party. If you are holding a revoked ticket, you will not be admitted and will not receive a refund.
WHAT IS THE CAMERA AND VIDEO POLICY?
The camera policy varies from event to event depending on the artist, but generally we allow cell phone cameras and point and shoot cameras only. No big cameras or removable lenses without prior permission. We never allow flash photography of any kind. For further questions, you can contact the theatre.
WHAT IF MY TICKETS ARE LOST OR STOLEN?
Keep your tickets in a safe place until the event, but if they are lost or stolen, please contact the box office as soon as possible. Proof of purchase and a photo ID will be required to receive a lost ticket voucher or have your tickets reprinted.
WHAT TIME DO DOORS OPEN?
In most cases, doors open 60 minutes prior to the start of the event.
DOES MY CHILD NEED A TICKET?
For most events, the rule is that children who have celebrated their second birthday must purchase a ticket to enter the theatre. Children who have not reached their second birthday and will not be occupying a seat do not need to purchase a ticket. Contact our box office for more information.
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE BIJOU?
After several years producing musical theater, the Bijou’s previous owners defaulted on their mortgage loans and other bills. The theater avoided foreclosure in early 2005 when two Knoxville businessmen stepped in to renegotiate the loan. Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam took the leading role in raising an estimated $2.1 million in needed funds to address the building’s structural deterioration, mechanical systems and accessibility issues, as well as eliminating or reducing past liabilities and creating a two-year operating reserve. Mayor Haslam committed to raising the total amount through grants and donations. “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 March 2005 press conference. At that event, Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. committed $571,608 in federal grant money for the restoration and preservation of the Bijou. Members of the local music community raised additional funds through several benefit concerts, including a Scott Miller show that generated $3,000. The theater closed for almost a year for construction to repair water damage, upgrade the heating and air, refurbish the auditorium seats, and outfit the stage with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and curtaining systems.
On June 2, 2006, the Bijou Theatre reopened as a vital participant in Knoxville’s thriving downtown. Toasted by the community with a celebration and fundraiser emceed by WBIR’s Bill Williams and featuring performances by R.B. Morris, Robinella and Con Hunley and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. In the many months since, hundreds of performers from a plethora of genres have entertained audiences and invigorated the Bijou once more.
The Bijou Theatre is a 501(c)(3) organization overseen by the Bijou Theatre Foundation.
HOW OLD IS THE BIJOU?
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.
WHAT MAKES THE BIJOU SPECIAL?
In addition to being housed in Knoxville’s fourth oldest building, the Bijou Theatre 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.
IS THE BIJOU HAUNTED?
Local lore has it that ghostly spirits visit the Bijou. After years of reports by stage crew and employees, the East Tennessee Paranormal Society conducted an official investigation onsite and turned up some interesting results, including inexplicable recordings and some rather strange photographic evidence. Investigators have also witnessed uncanny shadows not caused by any known light source, which they also took to be evidence of spectral activity.
The Bijou Theatre does not currently host any paranormal teams due to the large volume of shows and events each year.
WHEN WAS THE FIRST PERFORMANCE AT THE BIJOU?
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.