The Franklin Theatre Premieres ‘Elvis’ to Packed House
On June 22nd, 2022, The Franklin Theatre hosted the Middle Tennessee premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” to a full house of local celebrities, actors, musicians, and theatre donors. The Warner Bros. Pictures film, which premiered on June 24th, explores the relationship between Elvis (played by Austin Butler) and his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks).
Among those in attendance were Nashville-based music producer and composer Shannon Sanders, The McCrary Sisters, and two of Elvis’ former bandmates, Tony Brown and Larry Strickland. Sanders moderated a short panel with Brown and Strickland who shared memories and insights from their time working with Elvis.
Sanders, who plays a pentecostal pastor in the film, surprised the crowd with a video call from director “Baz Luhrmann.” Luhrmann thanked everyone for their attendance and support and signed off by leading a chant of “it’s time to take care of business!”
This event served as both a film premiere and a fundraiser for the non-profit The Franklin Theatre. Events like this help us further our mission of providing world-class performing arts experiences to diverse Williamson County residents and visitors. We’d like to thank our staff for their hard work in producing this high-quality event, our advisory board for their continued leadership and oversight, our 1937 Society members, our Franklin Theatre donors, and all who attended on Wednesday. Special thanks to our in-kind event partners Cromwell Media, 102.1 The Ville, Menu Maker Catering, Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Curio Brewing Company, and Bite Club Baked Goods.
The Franklin Theatre ‘Elvis’ Premiere Press Coverage:
The Franklin Theatre to Screen Middle Tennessee Premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” Biopic
Regional Premiere for the widely anticipated film to serve as fundraiser for nonprofit Theatre.
The Franklin Theatre, in partnership with Shannon Sanders and Cromwell Media, will be hosting a one-night-only premiere screening of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis” on June 22nd. This event will include introductory remarks and a panel discussion before the screening.
The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (played by Olivia DeJonge).
The film also features Nashville residents and artists with Nashville ties including Shannon Sanders (3-time GRAMMY award winner & Executive Director, Creative BMI), Yola, Gary Clark Jr., a gospel choir comprised of numerous local singers, and more.
“We’re incredibly proud to be chosen by Warner Bros. Pictures to present this historic film at our historic theatre two nights before the national release. Having hosted record releases and Hollywood premieres, like 2004’s Friday Night Lights and 2005’s Elizabethtown, The Franklin Theatre provides the perfect backdrop to this film exploring the life of Elvis Presley,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of The Franklin Theatre. “We’ll be using this event as a fundraiser to support our nonprofit Theatre’s operations so that it continues to shine and be the jewel of not just Franklin but for all of Middle Tennessee. The premiere will be a special event for our current supporters, many of which are artists living in the local area.”
Shannon Sanders noted, “I am honored to have played a role in the film, and grateful to Baz and all who worked on the film for their vision. Elvis made so much of his career in Nashville, and there’s no better way to celebrate his legacy and this film than bringing Hollywood to Middle Tennessee.”
The “Elvis” regional premiere Franklin Theatre fundraiser will be Wednesday, June 22 beginning at 6:30 PM. The event will include a reception immediately following the screening. A limited number of passes will be available to first time and legacy donors to The Franklin Theatre.
Franklin Theatre to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of 2011 Reopening with Showstopping Night of Entertainment
Crown jewel of Main Street in downtown Franklin reopened to much fanfare after massive renovation completed in 2011
The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, the parent company of The Franklin Theatre, is excited to invite fans and supporters of the beloved Franklin Theatre to a night of celebration being held Saturday, August 7.
Sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson), the event will celebrate 10 years since the rehabilitation and reopening of the historic theater that has been a presence on Franklin’s Main Street since 1937. Through the power of dynamic sound and visuals produced by Matt Logan Productions and the premiere of the theater’s mini-documentary film produced by Stonecastle Pictures, attendees will be able to relive the last 84 years of the theater’s storied history combined with a glimpse of what’s to come for the future of the theater.
“If the pandemic gave us anything positive to take away, it gave us the time to focus on and plan for a truly dynamic event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Franklin Theatre’s reopening,” said Heritage Foundation CEO Bari Beasley. “Thanks to our sponsor, Jackson, we’ve been able to create an amazing mini-documentary and have lined up an impressive night of entertainment to really celebrate what this theater means to all of us and to the city of Franklin.”
The Franklin Theatre opened its doors for the first time during the summer of 1937 when the marquee first illuminated Main Street. Moviegoers enjoyed fresh popcorn, afternoon matinees and 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. 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.
The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County couldn’t allow Main Street’s crown jewel to cease to shine, so the nonprofit preservation organization 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.
To herald this milestone, The Franklin Theatre is presenting a 10th Anniversary Celebration on August 7, 2021 which will serve as a key fundraiser for the theater in this year of post-pandemic recovery. The evening will begin with an outdoor reception on Main Street at 6 p.m. Theater doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a performance created by Matt Logan Productions, featuring iconic song selections that reflect the theatre’s past, present and future.
Proceeds from the cocktail attire 10th Anniversary Celebration go to support the ongoing mission of The Franklin Theatre, which is a nonprofit, community-focused theater destined to create lasting memories through the power of the arts.
Tickets for the celebration range from $150 – $500. For additional information about the event, click here or call the box office at 615-538-2076.
ABOUT THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY
Since 1967, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County has been dedicated to preserving Williamson County’s architectural, geographic and cultural heritage as well as promoting the ongoing revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation. Notable projects include The Franklin Theatre, Roper’s Knob, parts of the Franklin battlefield and the Old, Old Jail. The Foundation brings county history to about 3,000 school children each year through the Heritage Classroom program as well as walking tours of downtown Franklin. Events and festivals produced by the Heritage Foundation such as Main Street Festival, the Heritage Ball, Pumpkinfest and Dickens of a Christmas bring hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors to downtown Franklin each year. The Heritage Foundation owns and operates The Franklin Theatre, the Downtown Franklin Association, and the organization’s newest division and current restoration project, Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. For more information about the Heritage Foundation, visit www.williamsonheritage.org.
ABOUT THE FRANKLIN THEATRE
Following a complete restoration by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County in 2011, the historic Franklin Theatre (Est. 1937), re-opened its doors as a state-of-the-art live music venue featuring performances by world-renowned artists. The theatre also honors its heritage by continuing to show movies. The Theatre’s mission is to provide world-class, diverse performing arts experiences to residents and visitors alike and to be a platform for local philanthropic engagement and education, all delivered with unparalleled guest service.
For more information about The Franklin Theatre, visit www.franklintheatre.com.
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“Whodunnit!” – The Mafia Experience
Audience participation encouraged at Mafia-themed show…
Backlight Productions, a theater arts program for adults with special needs, will host a mass interactive game experience based on the classic “whodunnit” party game, Mafia, at the Franklin Theatre.
The game will be led by Backlight actors performing alongside professional actors, and will also include audience participants as they seek to weed out the guilty amongst the innocent.
Audience members can choose to be interactive participants or observers, and all levels of tickets can be purchased HERE. It’s sure to be the perfect event for anyone looking to do something fun and unique.
The Mafia Experience will be held on Oct. 27 from 6-9 p.m. CLICK HERE for more information.
GRAMMY-Nominated Thompson Square to Perform Benefit Concert to Raise Money for Rare Genetic Disorder
May 6 concert will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation
On Monday, May 6, 2019, GRAMMY-nominated, MULTI-PLATINUM Country duo Thompson Square will perform A Night of Hope: A Concert to End NF at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN, to raise awareness and money for neurofibromatosis.
Also known as NF, this rare genetic disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 in 3,000 people of all populations and there is no cure. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation the leader in the fight to end NF and a model for innovative research endeavors.
Thompson Square is comprised of husband-and-wife team, Keifer and Shawna Thompson. Since breaking out in 2010 with their 2X-PLATINUM #1 smash “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” the pair have gone on to score two Top 5 albums and another romantic #1 hit with PLATINUM-certified “If I Didn’t Have You” while also racking up multiple GRAMMY nominations and three trophies as Vocal Duo of the Year from the ACM and CMA Awards. Thompson Square’s third studio album, MASTERPIECE, is out now.
“We’re honored to be performing at A Concert to End NF and helping to bring awareness to this devastating disease,” shared Keifer.
Shawna adds, “Family is everything to us, and it means so much to be a part of something that is bringing the community together, making memories, and helping raise money for research.”
The benefit concert takes place during NF Awareness Month, a month-long awareness campaign that includes online and offline events designed to educate the community about this under-recognized genetic disorder, and bring together those living with NF with their families, friends, the larger community, fundraisers and researchers. As part of the international Shine a Light on NF campaign, the Korean Way Veterans Memorial Bridge (Nashville, TN) will glow blue and green, joining hundreds of landmarks around the world. In prior years, former Governor Haslam has proclaimed the month of May as NF Awareness Month in Tennessee. (Photo credit: Garrett Merchant)
“The Children’s Tumor Foundation is thankful that Thompson Square will perform this benefit concert during NF Awareness Month,” said Annette Bakker, PhD, Children’s Tumor Foundation President. “It takes many different ways of raising money and awareness to make an impact and drive research forward, and we’re ecstatic to have the support of Thompson Square.”
Currently there is no cure for NF, but clinicians and scientists are optimistic that with funding for more research, actionable treatment options to improve the lives of the 2.5 million people living with NF will be attainable. WSMV-TV Features Reporter Terry Bulger will host the evening.