Our enduring romance with the Franklin Theatre began in the summer of 1937 when the marquee first illuminated Main Street, invited Middle Tennesseans to buy a ticket – and laugh, cry and dream. Inside the theater walls, moviegoers enjoyed fresh popcorn, afternoon matinees and first kisses. They walked away with a lifetime of memories.
Over the next 70 years, the world changed a lot – but the Franklin Theatre stood as a testament to a simpler way of life. But time eventually took its toll on the venerable movie house, and the doors closed in 2007 under the pressing of rising rents and the trend toward mega-theaters.
Enter the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. Rather than lose the heart of Main Street, the nonprofit preservation group stepped in to buy and rehabilitate the historic landmark. After three years of work – and an investment of more than $8 million – the historic Franklin Theatre re-emerged better than ever.
The new Franklin Theatre continues the cherished tradition of showing movies, but also adds a new dimension to Main Street – live music. With a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and undeniable charm, the Franklin Theatre is destined to be an entertainment and cultural icon for years to come.