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Franklin Theatre to Host Midnight Movies This Summer

Series Kicks Off Friday, June 15 with “The Big Lebowski”

Midnight Movies at the Franklin TheatreThe Franklin Theatre will host late-night cult classic movie screenings this summer for patrons 21 and up. The 2012 Midnight Movie series will include “The Big Lebowski” on Friday, June 15, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” on Friday, July 20, and “Airplane!” on Friday, August 17. Tickets are just $5 and are now available online at or by calling the theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

Patrons are encouraged to come in costume to these screenings. Each event will feature prizes and coordinating drink specials, such as White Russians at The Big Lebowski. All patrons wishing to purchase alcohol must present a valid ID to receive a wrist band.

The late-night movies are returning this summer due to popular demand. During the summer of 2011, the Franklin Theatre sold out two late-night screenings each of “The Big Lebowski” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

“Airplane!” another cult classic comedy, will show at the Franklin Theatre for the first time the night of August 17.

The Mel Brooks Western parody “Blazing Saddles” will also show at 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, as part of the Franklin Theatre’s “Wild West Weekend”–a themed celebration of the venue’s first anniversary. The Wild West Weekend will also feature a concert by Western swing band The Time Jumpers on Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m. and Saturday movie screenings of the Don Bluth animated classic “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the original “True Grit” starring John Wayne at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Ranger Doug from Riders in the Sky will be on hand to host and entertain throughout the day.

Originally built in 1937, the Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011 following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration. The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. More information is available online at

Franklin Theatre’s First Year Celebration June 22-23


In the spirit of its grand reopening in June of 2011, the Franklin Theatre will host its first anniversary celebration with a weekend of activities and entertainment on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23. While last year’s grand reopening was inspired by classic 1930s films, this year’s celebration will take on the theme of another beloved genre of old Hollywood: the Wild West–and will feature award-winning live music of the same vein.

The Wild Western Weekend will kickoff Friday, June 22 with a concert by the world renowned Western swing band “The Time Jumpers.”The award-winning and Grammy nominated Time Jumpers evolved from casual jam sessions among Nashville’s studio elite to become known for their tight arrangements, soulful singers, brilliant soloists and an irresistible swinging rhythm. Tickets for this performance go on sale to the public Friday, June 1 at and at the Box Office, (615) 538-2076.

On Saturday, June 23, Ranger Doug, “The Idol of American Youth” from Nashville’s famed cowboy quartet “Riders in the Sky” will entertain patrons and host a full day of Western movies, storytellings, games and activities at the Franklin Theatre.

Film screenings will begin with kid-friendly morning and matinee showings of the Don Bluth animated classic “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., followed by the original 1969 “True Grit” starring John Wayne at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Entertainment will continue late into the evening with a late-night screening of Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” for patrons age 21 and up. Attendees are encouraged to dress up. This late-night screening will featured themed drink specials, costume contests, prizes and giveaways. Tickets to these movie screenings are just $5 and are on sale now at

Franklin Theatre Celebrates Year of Accomplishments

From Charity Case to Social, Economic & Creative Catalyst in One Year

FRANKLIN, TENN, June 1, 2012–This summer, the “new” 1937 Franklin Theatre will celebrate its first birthday–the anniversary of its Grand Reopening, held on June 3, 2011. The historic movie house closed in 2007 when rising rents rendered the Main Street movie business less-than-lucrative. The nonprofit preservationist Heritage Foundation spearheaded a fundraising effort to “Save the Franklin Theatre.” Over $8.5 million was raised–entirely through private donations–for the purchase and complete renovation of the building.

A year later, the Franklin Theatre has expanded offerings to preserve the Main Street movie tradition with several screenings per week while successfully adding to its mix and mission world-class live music and theatre.

In the first year since the culmination of its donor-funded $8.5 million restoration, the nonprofit 300-seat Franklin Theater has helped raised over half a million dollars for other causes in the local community.

Some gifts just keep on giving.

“Certainly, we expected the return of movies to Main Street and the addition of live theater and extraordinary music concerts,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Executive Director Mary Pearce. “And some also saw the theater as a venue for collaboration among the arts, education and community enrichment and an opportunity to attract resources for great charitable efforts.”
Many of the Franklin Theatre’s live events have been fundraisers for other nonprofits or charitable causes in the community. Sheryl Crow performed three nights at the Franklin Theatre in December of 2011 as a fundraiser for New Hope Academy, a local school. Delbert McClinton raised money for his ailing friend and road manager. Jerry Douglas gave a Christmas concert to benefit the Children’s Organ Transplant Organization. Wynonna Judd performed at a benefit for Williamson County CASA, a group that provides court-appointed advocates for child victims of abuse and neglect.

“We were able to generate a lot of awareness and support for Williamson County CASA through our benefit concert ‘Voices for the Children’ held at the Franklin Theatre,” said CASA board member Elizabeth Jewell. The May 1 benefit concert featuring Wynonna Judd raised $42,000 for the organization. “We’re so glad to have this venue back in our community and to be able to work together with the Franklin Theatre to support our mission of advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children in our community.”

The Green Nights Series–the theatre’s own fundraising series in which superstar artists donate their time and talent–has so far included Vince Gill & Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, The Judds, Ronnie Dunn, and Michael W. Smith. “Green Nights” also nods to the environmental sustainability of the theatre’s new construction. Legacy Trees will be planted next fall in the name of each participating artist in “Green Nights Grove”–the location of which is soon to be confirmed.

Over the course of its first year ever as a music venue, The Franklin Theatre has become a beacon for musical diversity in the region, having hosted world-class acts from a variety of musical genres, including Americana, jazz, bluegrass, gospel, country, blues, pop, Big Band and rock and roll. Its year one roster has included 23 Grammy Award Winners.

Another new tradition, the Franklin Theatre hosts quarterly professional live theatre produced by Studio Tenn Theatre Company, a local nonprofit comprising Broadway veterans from Nashville. Studio Tenn’s first season at the Franklin Theatre featured the sold-out debut fall musical “Guys and Dolls”, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and the moving story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker.” The phenomenal success of “Guys and Dolls” prompted the addition of an encore production to the season, “The Sound of Music,” which runs May 31-June 17–including two production on the Franklin Theatre’s first anniversary of its reopening, June 3.

Beyond bringing back movies, the Franklin Theatre’s live entertainment offerings have been a boon to business and tourism in Downtown Franklin. In its first year, the Franklin Theatre is estimated to have had a direct economic impact in excess of $2 million.

“The Franklin Theatre is a powerful economic driver that generates revenue inside and outside its own doors,” said Williamson County Convention & Visitor Bureau Executive Director Mark Shore. “It has become a catalyst for extending the hours of an already vibrant downtown. As a tourism product, the theatre does as much to sustain nearby businesses, retail and restaurants as it does to sustain its own operations and is a signature attraction on its own.”

The Franklin Theatre has had visitors from all fifty United States, as well as several from Europe and Canada.

Bob Roethemeyer is current president and longtime member of the Downtown Franklin Association. His vintage, gift and home accessories boutique Avec Moi sits directly across the street from the Franklin Theatre. “It is just so exciting to see people coming and going in a well-lit building that is dedicated to entertainment of the community,” Roethemeyer said. The increased activity surrounding the theatre–especially on weekends–“has had a positive impact on the experiences of folks who come to Downtown Franklin to visit shops, eat and see a movie or show,” he said.

Valued traditions are being carried forward and new ones forged. As for the Franklin Theatre’s future, Director Dan Hays said great music, movies and theatrical productions will remain among the venue’s top priorities, joined by the development of further educational and outreach initiatives.

“We understand the responsibility to create and leave new legacies relevant to our lives today and for those that follow,” said Hays. “We can be the greatest 300-seat music venue in the world by multiplying what happens inside the theater well beyond our own community. Your dreams about what the Franklin Theatre can be are just beginning.”

Studio Tenn’s “The Sound of Music” Opens This Weekend! Anniversary Special Gift: Free Movie Ticket for Sunday, June 3 Patrons

Studio Tenn Theatre Company’s production of “The Sound of Music” is set to open at the historic 300-seat Franklin Theatre on Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at

Opening weekend of “The Sound of Music” coincides with the first anniversary of the Franklin Theatre’s grand re-opening, which took place on June 3, 2011. To commemorate the venue’s one-year anniversary this Sunday, Studio Tenn is treating all patrons of the June 3 afternoon and evening performances to a free movie ticket. Vouchers will be distributed after each performance and can be redeemed at the box office through August 2012 for a movie ticket to any regularly scheduled public screening.

The nonprofit Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011 following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration–including the addition of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, outfitting the venue for live entertainment for the first time in its 75-year history. Studio Tenn’s Managing Director Jake Speck and Artistic Director Matt Logan produced the star-studded stage show for the Franklin Theatre’s Grand Opening gala last summer, which included the popular “Do, Re, Mi” performed by cast member Shealean Newman and local school children.

Resident theatre company of the Franklin Theatre, Studio Tenn is the first professional company to bring Broadway stars along with homegrown talent to Franklin’s Main Street in original and inventive adaptations of classic American musicals and plays. Led by Broadway’s Jessica Grové (Les Miserables, A Little Night Music) as Maria and Ben Davis (La Boheme, A Little Night Music,) as Captain Von Trapp, “The Sound of Music” is an encore production to Studio Tenn’s 2011-2012 season, added after the sweeping success of its debut musical, “Guys and Dolls”, resulted in eight sold-out shows. Studio Tenn continued to sell out the house with runs of “A Christmas Carol” in December and “The Miracle Worker” in March.

“The Sound of Music” runs May 31 through June 17, with evening performances at 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday of each week and matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available online at and at the Franklin Theatre Box Office, which can be reached directly at (615) 538-2076. Group discounts are available for parties of ten or more. For more information visit or

Student and Actors’ Equity Rush Tickets

Studio Tenn Theatre Company will offer $15 Rush Tickets to college students and Actors’ Equity Association Members beginning with their production of “The Sound of Music”, running May 31-June 17. Rush tickets may be purchased at the Franklin Theatre box office one hour prior to showtime, pending availability. A valid student ID or Actors’ Equity Association Membership is required.

Franklin Theatre offers FREE Movie Screenings for K-12 Students

“Summer Movie Kickoff” Series Announced for May 23-25

The Franklin Theatre recently announced that it will offer a series of free movie screenings from May 23-25 for local elementary, middle and high school students. Scheduled for the Williamson County School District’s first three days of summer vacation, the Franklin Theatre’s “Summer Movie Kickoff” special is open to Kindergarten through twelfth-grade students of public and private schools in the area, as well as homeschooled children. Film offerings include matinees of “Shrek” (PG) at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and evening screenings of “Mean Girls” (PG-13) at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Advance Tickets Available through Special Promotion Code

Tickets for the free student screenings may be reserved in advance at using the promotion code, “SMK2012.” Those reserving complimentary tickets using this promotion code will be prompted to enter the name of their school (or their child’s school). Reserving tickets in advance guarantees a seat at the movie screening of your choice; remaining tickets will be available at the box office on a first-come, first-served basis. A valid Student ID should be presented at the box office for each complimentary ticket. Young children must be accompanied by an adult.

Click here to visit the movies page of our website and reserve your free tickets in advance.

Public movie tickets will be sold to non-students for the everyday price of $5 while supplies last.

The mission of the nonprofit Franklin Theatre is to build community through shared experiences. As a historic Main Street movie house, the Franklin Theatre is dedicated to providing and preserving affordable options for family-friendly entertainment in Downtown Franklin.

Originally built in 1937, the Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011 following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration. The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. More information is available online at