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Walter L. Morris Theater Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2738

The collection contains material from Walter Morris, operator of the Capri and Tower Theaters in Knoxville. Correspondence, photographs, legal papers, blueprints, newspaper and magazine clippings, and promotional information is included. There is also material about the lawsuit against theater monopolies in Knoxville and Morris' work at other theaters in East Tennessee.

Also see MS 1073: The Walter Morris Film Collection.

Dates

  • 1910s-1990s (bulk 1940s-1960s)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

The collection contains material from Walter Morris, operator of the Capri and Tower Theaters in Knoxville. Correspondence, photographs, legal papers, blueprints, newspaper and magazine clippings, and promotional information is included. There is also material about the lawsuit against theater monopolies in Knoxville and Morris' work at other theaters in East Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

Walter Lee Morris was born in Knoxville on August 18, 1906. He attended Knoxville High School and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville from 1924-1926. It was during his school years that his theater career began when he worked as an usher at local Knoxville theaters. He later became a district manager for Paramount, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. In the 1940s, he was responsible for the construction and management of theaters at Oak Ridge for the War Department. Returning to Knoxville in the 1947, he built and operated the Pike and Lenox theaters, which he remodeled and renamed in the 1960s as the Capri (or Cinerama-70) and Tower Theaters, respectively. Mr. Morris was the driving force behind the successful lawsuit which broke up the film distribution monopoly in Knoxville. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Theater Owners of America, of the Rotary Club, and of the Motion Picture News' Round Table, as well as president of the Tennessee Theater Owners of America, and a special field advisor for the Council of Motion Picture Organization. He married Mary Moore around 1932 and had two children, Walter and Marianne. In August 1985, he passed away at age 79.

Arrangement

Collection consists of six series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Professional Information, 1928-1999
  2. Series II: Theater Materials, 1940s-1992
  3. Series III: Legal and Financial Records, 1940s-1980s.
  4. Series IV: Clippings and Articles: 1910s-1990s
  5. Series V: Photographs, 1920s-1970s
  6. Series VI: Other, 1950s, 1983

Acquisition Note

This collection was acquired by UT Special Collections in May 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480