The Central Cinema was originally home to the Joy Theater in the 1930s and 1940s. Over the years, the building housed business such as the Picto Theater and the Taoist Tai Chi Society. Then, in August 2018, the founders of the Knoxville Horror Film Fest opened the Central Cinema after raising funds to renovate the structure into a modern theater. The theater features a one-hundred-seat auditorium, a concession lounge, and a rear patio. Today, Central Cinema screens classics and independent films and hosts community events.