The Little House With the Big Shows
Maryville's Gathering Place
History and Renovation of the Palace Theater
Carl Pflanze erected the Palace Theater building in 1868 to house his furniture and casket factory. In those days if you did one, you did the other. Mr. Pflanze was the original owner of Cherokee Lumber Company. This company was in continuous service to Blount countians until 2001. The furniture store remained until 1927 when it became the first site of McCammon Ammons Funeral Parlor.
After a few years of business the Pflanze building housed Wright’s Five and Dime store. In October 1933 the building was consumed by fire. The Crescent Amusement Company bought the building and in 30 days built the Palace Theater. The upper office and projector booth have remained the same since 1933. This company also owned the Capitol Theater located further west on Broadway. The two theaters were operating for the sole purpose of shutting down the Park Theater, located across the street.
In 1938 the Crescent Amusement Company bought the Park Theater. The Palace was then relocated to the former Park Theater and kept the name The Park Theater. The old Roy’s Record Shop now Barley's Tap Room occupies that location.
The original Pflanze building was a little smaller than it is today. The building at that time only reached halfway through the block between West Broadway and Harper Streets. In 1938 the Cole Drug Store purchased the property and extended the building all the way to Harper Street. The Palace Café now operated under the Palace Theater at 113 W. Harper.
The Pflanze building next housed the Dollar Store in the 1960’s until the ‘70s when it became McClurg’s Carpet Store. Another fire closed the carpet store in 1975.
In 1975 Walter and Walker Harrill purchased the building with the intent of restoring it to the way they remembered it in 1934 and the Palace Theater. This popular theater closed in the early 1980’s for the second time.
The theater remained unused for nearly three decades. Steve Kaufman and Donna Dixon purchased the building in 1999 and restored it with the help of local historians. It has become Maryville’s premier acoustic music venue and the town’s first espresso bar. It has proven to be the “In place to be” in Maryville and has lead to a resurgence in the growth of downtown Maryville.