After a successful career as a home builder, Jess Davis and his wife, Linda, decided to get back to their Christian roots and open a Christian themed dinner theater. The Biblical Times Dinner Theater in Pigeon Forge was the culmination of three years of careful planning and development.
Linda Davis was born in Maryville while her father was stationed at McGhee-Tyson Air Force Base. She attended Alcoa High School and met Jess Davis in 1978 at First Baptist Church of Alcoa.
“Had it not been for Pastor Doug Sager we would have never met,” said Jess Davis. “He was an inspirational man who was widely respected in the community. Many of Rev, Sager’s Bible lessons he taught us have been incorporated into the show.”
After college Jess and Linda married and started a family. Jess went to work as a homebuilder and Linda worked as his office manager. The Davis’s built several subdivisions in Blount County including Victoria Gardens, Victoria Landings, Condominiums of Springbrook Park and numerous other building projects.
The building industry was very successful. Jess was named Man of the Year by the Rotary Club of Alcoa two years in a row in the early 1980s.
“We had donated a house to be given away at a raffle to raise funds for the club,” said Jess. “The winning ticket was purchased by an elderly woman.”
In 2012, the Davises decided to open the Biblical Times Dinner Theater on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The show was innovative utilizing special effects never before seen in all of Tennessee. The show combined computer generated holograms interacting with live actors on stage.
The show opened during the Christmas season of 2012 with the story of the Nativity. The show returned in 2013 with “Psalms of David.” The show returned in March of 2014 with “Moses Mountain of God.” The new show recounts the inspiring story of Moses as he led the Israelites from Egypt where they had been held in bondage.
The story includes Moses speaking to the burning bush, the plagues brought upon Egypt, the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea.
“When we opened the theater we had three goals,” said Jess Davis. “We wanted the show to be biblically themed and accurate. We wanted it to give the audience a message. And we wanted to weave Jesus into the show.”
The technology used to create the show is state-of- the-art computer generated imagery. It makes it difficult to ascertain which characters are real and which are computer generated. The holograms were created by Pellissippi Community College instructor Kent McQuilkin.
“I love what we are doing now,” said Jess Davis. “We have based the story on the King James Bible and have never deviated from it. I love the creativity and the spiritual aspect of the show. Many of the lessons taught by Rev. Sager are incorporated into the show. I have seen people moved to tears by the inspiring story. To us this show is a ministry and God deserves all the credit.”
The pre-show includes a talented cast of six performers singing uplifting gospel favorites, testimonies and family oriented comedy. The show includes a feast of biblical proportions featuring a four course meal. The show concludes with the audience being raptured.
For more information about the Biblical Times Dinner Theater visit www.biblicaltimestheater.com or call 865-908-3327. The theater is located at Light #2, 2391 Parkway, Pigeon Forge.