57 N. Main Street,
7 people favorited this theater
Artcraft Theatre (Official)
Architects: Roy C. Bryant, Alden Meranda
Functions: Live Performances, Movies (Classic)
Styles: Art Deco, Neo-Classical
News About This Theater
- Sep 28, 2012 — At 90, Artcraft Theatre still vibrant in Franklin
- Jul 29, 2008 — Artcraft packs 'em in with the classics
The Artcraft Theatre was opened on November 1, 1922 as a vaudeville and silent movie house with a seating capacity of 1,200. The Artcraft Theatre wass complete with orchestra pit, acoustic tiles, and a wooden stage. It is the center of the city of Franklin and was designed and built by architect Roy C. Bryant. From 1922 until 1948 the Artcraft Theatre was in its original Neo-Classical style. The building’s four storefronts housed businesses, restaurants, office space. Updates to the building in 1935-1936 and also in 1940 added a marquee, blade sign and a smoking lounge. The Artcraft Theatre holds one of the first air conditioning systems in Franklin. Using evaporative cooling from a ‘swamp cooler’. the unit drew up cool water from a well in the basement, pumped past a large fan extracting the cold temperature from the water and blow the cooled air throughout the building.
The Artcarft Theatre was remodeled in 1948, to the plans of architect Alden Meranda. This remodeling gave the Artcraft Theatre its Art Deco style that it retains today. Live programming ended in the 1950’s when the ownership installed a new curved screen that was bolted to the stage. The orchestra pit was filled in with sand and concrete at the same time. The Artcraft Theatre operated for 78 years as a movie theatre before it closed due to a multiplex theatre opening in the city in 2000. It served as a concert and dance hall for three years until Franklin Heritage bought the building in April of 2004. The historic preservation group is working to restore this Art Deco style theatre while expanding its program to serve the community. The Artcraft Theatre seats 625 patrons and operates a classic films schedule on the weekends. Field trips, rentals, movies and many more activities can be found on their website.
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Recent comments (view all 10 comments)
The official website is now at: http://www.artcrafttheatre.com
Photos of this theater can be found HERE
Drove by yesterday. Marquee says they’re open during renovation. Huge scaffolding covers front above canopy.
Just attended a showing of “It Happened One Night” at the Artcraft. Still undergoing renovation. I was glad that it is still alive and kicking.
The theater celebrates its 90th birthday: View article
Here is an item about the Artcraft Theatre from the March 5, 1921, issue of The American Contractor:Architect/builder Roy C. Bryant also designed the Masonic Lodge in Franklin, now the Johnson County Museum of History, which is listed on the NRHP.
Great curved marquee and handsome brick building.