Regal Riviera 8 Cinema*

Knoxville, TN

The Regal Riviera 8 Cinema is in the heart of historic downtown Knoxville, on the site of a 1920 Regal cinema that burned in 1963. This area has an illustrious history, with buildings including the radio station where the teenage Dolly Parton made her musical debut and the landmark Art Deco S&W Cafeteria building.

When MBS Urban Initiatives CDE was approached by the City of Knoxville, work on this eight-screen Cineplex had been halted because the City had not identified sufficient sources to complete construction. MBS Urban Initiatives was immediately attracted to this development for the impact on downtown revitalization and decided to invest our New Markets Tax Credit allocation to make it happen.

The new cinema preserves and enhances the original structures: although it is large, with a capacity of nearly 2,000 seats, it was carefully designed around the historic structures, which have been redeveloped for shops, restaurants, and living space.

Besides employing hundreds of workers in both construction and operations and preserving a number of historic structures, this project has positively impacted the community by spurring additional residential and commercial development in downtown Knoxville. The uptick in development has meant that appraisals for downtown residential property are increasing at a faster pace than that of the city as a whole.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Quick Facts 

Project Goal: Build new 8-screen multiplex in historic downtown Knoxville to anchor additional revitalization.

Total Development Cost: $15,081,000

Square Footage: 43,000

Developers: Industrial Development Board, The City of Knoxville for the Downtown Cinema, Inc.

Tax Credit Investor: U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation

New Markets Tax Credit Allocation: $ 7,000,000

Other Key Project Financing: Industrial Development Bonds, Empowerment Zone Bonds, Regal Entertainment Group, City of Knoxville, Tax Increment Financing

Construction Jobs: 104

Permanent Jobs: 18 FTE

Investment date: December 2006

Opening date: Summer 2007