Ijams Nature Center and Central Cinema will welcome back movie lovers to the lawn for the 2021 Movies Under the Stars, presented by Cherokee Distributing Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., starting June 4.

Moviegoers are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch a blend of popular comedies, action, fantasy and horror films on the hill in front of the Ijams Visitor Center throughout the summer and early fall.

The series kicks off with a family favorite, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The PG-rated 1990 movie featuring the crime-fighting, pizza-loving turtles was the first in a series of films based on the cartoon and held the record as the highest-grossing independent film until The Blair Witch Project topped it in 1999.

The seven-movie series includes:

  • June 4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Family/Action/Sci-Fi – PG
  • June 18: Jurassic Park, Sci-Fi/Adventure – PG-13
  • July 2: Predator, Action/Sci-Fi – R
  • August 13: Beetlejuice, Comedy/Fantasy – PG
  • August 27: Mad Max Fury Road, Action/Adventure – R
  • September 17: Wizard of Oz, Fantasy/Musical – G
  • October 1: The Shining, Horror/Mystery – R

Doors open at 7 p.m. and movies begin at dark. In the event of inclement weather, movies will be shown under a large tent at the Ijams Homesite, which is a short walk from the Visitor Center.


Tasty meals, snacks and beverages will be available for purchase from food trucks and the Ijams beer garden. No coolers or outside alcohol is allowed.


Tickets are $10 per person or $36 for a family four-pack. Space is limited to 250 guests to ensure proper physical distancing. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended; walk-up tickets may not be available due to limited audience size. Dogs get in free, but must be leashed at all times.


Guests will be asked to wear a mask at check-in and in all common areas, but may remove masks once seated on the lawn.


The 2021 Movies Under the Stars is made possible by Cherokee Distributing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Cruze Farm Dairy, and Defy Explanation Pop-Up Kitchen and Craft Bakery. Sponsorships still are available; contact Cindy Hassil at chassil@ijams.org or 865-577-4717, ext. 117 for more information.


Central Cinema is a neighborhood moviehouse featuring a single screen at 1205 N Central Ave. A DIY-startup from the creators of the Knoxville Horror Film Fest, Central Cinema offers regular programming including classic audience favorites, weekly family matinees, cult cinema showcases and first-run bookings of under-the-radar indies and documentaries. Specialty screenings reach out to niche audiences and underserved local communities. Central Cinema is open to any group, business or lone film fanatic that has big ideas for a one-off film screening or event. For more information, visit Centralcinemaknox.com.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually for all ages. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit Ijams.org.