Packard's Games and Movies caters to entertainment-seekers looking to nab movies, games, and accessories for both current gaming systems and the nostalgic platforms of yore. After successfully dodging fireballs hurled by the store's assistant manager dragon, customers browse used consoles that include PlayStation 3 ($229.99) and Xbox 360 ($129.99) systems, both of which can be accessorized with regular or wireless controllers ($35.99–$39.99). The friendly staff helps navigate the selection of current games, such as Madden NFL 12 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ($58.77 each), or can open a trapdoor to the store's hidden level that houses a cache of retro games ($2.99+). Previously viewed DVDs of popular Hollywood movies ($4.99) also line the shelves of all 10 stores, though each location carries a slightly different selection. This Groupon may also be used toward the cost of electronics repairs for PC computers, game consoles, iPods, and cell phones.
The Emerging Cinemas network presents world-class performing arts, recorded on-scene at internationally recognized theaters and splashes them across the big screen before popcorn-chomping American audiences. Coppélia, choreographed by Patrice Bart, is a comic tale that follows the en pointe follies of a lovesick villager whose fiancée must compete with a life-like dancing automaton to win his affections. Professionally filmed, the performance is captured by multiple cameras with a combination of sweeping angles and detailed close-ups, allowing patrons a rare view of production details blasted through Carmike Cinema's high-definition big screens and surround-sound systems. The rich cinematic experience gives audiences front-row access to each magical movement augmented by a flawless score and Morse code toe taps that convey plot points to dance-illiterate viewers.
Mr. & Mrs. M sets Macbeth and his lady free from the bonds of history by transforming Shakespeare’s power-hungry power couple into noir characters complete with black bow ties and blood-red lipstick. Under Scott Dunlap’s direction, the conniving twosome weave through murderous plans like characters from Fritz Lang or Orson Welles while starkly lit and backed by a dissonant soundtrack of techno and swing music. Eerie visuals inspired by the films of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch flesh out the production, which was inspired in part by ghosts spotted in Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s historic corridors. Timeless themes trail through the juxtaposition of several different eras, including morality's demands on the conscience, the terror of embracing one's free will, and the eternal search for a product to keep a bloodstained dress from turning all the laundry pink.
Not content to only screen their bone-chilling flicks on Halloween weekend, Knoxville Horror Film Fest rolls out a variety of horror features and shorts throughout September and October to ready moviegoers for the spooky holiday. The festival proudly celebrates the bad as well as the good. Besides doling out bloodcurdling awards such as Best Gore Effects and Best Curdled Blood, the judges name one lucky piece of celluloid Weirdest Film, a distinction won by the oddly titled Thank You Jesus! in 2011. Throughout the year, filmmakers can submit their work in hopes that it will be shown in the company of high-profile releases such as the plasma-splattered AnnaLynne McCord vehicle Excision and the long-awaited adaptation of David Wong’s John Dies at the End, both of which are being shown at the 2012 KHFF.
The Bijou’s origins stretch back through American history, but it didn’t become a theater until relatively recently: 1908. For nearly a century prior to its dramaturgical reinvention, the building was a high-class hotel that housed high-ranking military commanders, influential civic leaders, and even President Andrew Jackson for a spell in 1819. When General Ambrose Burnside took the town of Knoxville during the Civil War, the hotel was converted into a hospital, makeshift war room, and oil-wrestling arena for Generals William Sherman and Phil Sheridan. The latter portion of the 19th century showed the building more favor, and during the lavish 1870s another president—Rutherford B. Hayes—paid call, and delivered a speech from the hotel’s balcony.
The early 1900s saw the hotel’s biggest renovation to date when it was purchased and upgraded by the Auditorium Company. The newly rechristened Bijou Theatre opened to a sellout crowd, and was a major outlet for vaudeville from 1913 to 1926. Hard times began to pile up soon afterward, and the lapsed theater would have been demolished in 1975 were it not for its eleventh-hour listing on the National Historic Record. Since its most recent renovation in 2006, the stage has hosted pop stars and musical blockbusters.