SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Several renovation projects are underway in downtown Sevierville, one of which brings an old theater back to life and adds hotel spaces for rent all on the same corner.
It’s not hard to see or hear all the sounds of construction on court avenue in Sevierville. Work is underway to renovate the Rawlings Funeral Home back into a boutique hotel and new restaurant, while across the street- a revival of The Pines Theater.
“I feel like we’ve done a ton of interviews about the years where downtown redevelopment was coming. And we were working on things and getting started but now there are so many construction projects you know, right now, there are seven or eight,” said developer Austin Williams.
Williams has been working to reimagine downtown with the nostalgia of yesterday, while looking at the future.
“You know, we’re getting to a point to what else can folks do? And so one of the main pieces of the pawns will be duckpin bowling, which is it’s a smaller, easier setup for bowling.”
The building comes with a lot of history not only to downtown Sevierville, but to country music in general. This building was home to the stage where a very young Dolly Parton would have given her first paid performance.
“Right where we’re standing is basically one of the front row seats to the stage,” said Williams as he gave Sevier County Bureau Chief Kyle Grainger a tour inside. “It was right here, it was around a 650 seat theatre. But yeah, so a ton of history that we’ve slowly been uncovered. Um, there’s a ton of country music history in this building.”
Williams plans to turn the outside into what it looked like while the country music legends would have performed here in the 30′s and 40′s.
“Dolly Parton, obviously the the queen of Sevierville, she had her first paid show here at the Pines theater. You also had June Carter Cash, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, a long long list,” Williams said.
Taking the history, planning the future and soon with a place for people to stay downtown when the Davis Hotel reopens next year.
“Another tourist accommodation here in Sevier County and hopefully a place for folks to come and stay weather, you know, hanging out and having a good time in downtown Sevierville.”
Both the Pines Theater and Pinchy’s Lobster Company should open later this year.
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