One Last Visit: Sears In Their Final Days at Fort Henry Mall

Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Can we all just agree right off the bat that I am just a big weirdo? A big, sentimental, nostalgia obsessed, incredibly handsome weirdo? As more and more Kmart and Sears closings have been announced over the past 12 months I have raced over the Midwest and Southeast trying to document these stores and give them a footnote in a very small chapter of a minute subject of our human existence. None of the stores, save for the Kmart in Corbin is or was more dear to my heart than the Sears at Fort Henry Mall.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Just after it was announced that this store would be closing i went over and visited and wrote up a blog entry covering the history of the store. That entry, along with photos from the visit can be found by clicking  on this link.

Sears — Fort Henry Mall — Kingsport, Tennessee
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport TN The Sears at Fort Henry Mall will close for good at the end of the business day on Sunday March 26th. Sears -- Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport TN Sears -- Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport TN
At the time of this visit, with only three days left in business the attached auto center had already been closed for business and the signs removed.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
The Package Pick Up area was busy with people picking up fixtures that they have bought from the store.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN If I was a betting man I would bet that this spot could very well become home to the tri cities area’s first Dunham’s Sports store. (although if I had my way it would become home to the areas first At Home store). Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport, TN
Hull, the company that recently purchased Fort Henry Mall appears ready and willing to do what it takes to reinvigorate the mall and have stated changes are coming to the mall as early as this summer. The company (Hull) also seems to have a knack for filling vacated mall anchor stores with Dunham’s or TJ Maxx.
Sears -- Fort Henry Mall -- Kingsport TN

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Sears — Fort Henry Mall — Kingsport, Tennessee

Before starting this article, I realize that this mall “officially” changed it’s name to Kingsport Town Center almost 10 years ago.  However, seeing as how the mall has failed to follow through with even changing the name on the building, I refuse to call this mall by such a generic name.
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN
The mall was officially opened in November, 1976.  Sears opened with the mall and has been there ever since.  More information about the mall and it’s history can be found by clicking the link to an article on Sky City by clicking HERE.  On January 4, 2017 it was announced that the Sears at Fort Henry Mall along with about 150 more Sears and Kmart stores would close in March. The local article announcing the closure can be found by clicking HERE
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN I visited the store durring the third week of January and plan to visit one more time before the store closes in late March. Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN.
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN
Sears -- Kingsport Town Center, Kingsport TN

The Strand Theatre — Kingsport, Tennessee

Downtown Kingsport, Tennessee
The Strand Theatre was the first movie theater in Kingsport. Originally located on the corner of Main and Shelby Streets, the theater moved to 140 Broad Street (former home of Goodwin Furniture Company) in 1925. When the Strand first moved to Broad Street it was referred to as Nu Strand Theatre.
The Strand Theatre burned down on December 22, 1945, but was reopened in 1947.
Downtown Kingsport, Tennessee

The Strand Theater officially closed October 23, 1982.

In 1989, the Restoration Church moved into the historic theater building.  A very informational article, including historical pictures of the theatre can be found by clicking HERE

The State Theatre — Kingsport, Tennessee

The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee The State Theatre in Kingsport, Tennessee was designed by architect Erle G. Stilwell and built in 1936. The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee
The theater, located at the intersection of Broad and Market Streets has 700 seats and has both screen and stage capabilities.
The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee By the mid 1950’s, the State Theatre was remodeled to accommodate more modern tastes and the Cinemascope format. The Mediterranean garden wall was removed, the murals painted over and a permanent screen erected. It was operated by the Wilbey-Kincey chain. The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee
The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee By 1976 the city of Kingsport had two indoor shopping mall, including the Terrace Theater that opened with the now demolished Kingsport Mall in 1971. Downtown began drying up as a commercial center as it once was and in 1978 the State Theatre showed its final feature film and closed. The State Theater -- Kingsport, Tennessee
In 2007, the State was purchased by DB3 Development Company, LLC. Prior to that it had been in use as a Christian movie house known as the All American Family Cinema in around 1990 to 1992, a dinner theatre, a nightclub, a gymnasium and had spent the last decade as a cheerleading school.

There were plans to renovate the theater and reopen it but as of this writing, the plans are stalled. In fact as I was taking the photos of this theater a guy from a business next door asked me if I wanted to buy a theater and fast track its remodel.