KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Theatre has now been closed to the public for 13 months, unable to hold performances because of the pandemic.

The historic Knoxville landmark has only been open for small events and live streamed concerts. It’s an impact that has hit the Tennessee Theatre Foundation hard. The theatre had to refund around $750,000 worth of tickets after closing last year and revenues dropped by 95 percent.

The foundation’s executive director said the theatre’s stayed afloat with help from grants, donations and a little creativity.

“With the building sitting empty, it just seems a waste to not figure out to use the building in ways we don’t normally use it,” TTF Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “We have done things like offering small wedding ceremonies or elopement ceremonies, so people use this beautiful backdrop for their special day. We’ve had special photography sessions, all socially distanced all safe, just a couple of ways to earn revenue and to keep the theatre in the public’s mind while we’re not able to present that great entertainment.”

With vaccination numbers continuing to rise, we’re told full-house concerts and events could start back up within the last few months of 2021.