Artcraft Theatre

57 N. Main Street,
Franklin, IN 46131

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Artcraft Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Roy C. Bryant, Alden Meranda

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (Classic)

Styles: Art Deco

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 317.736.6823

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News About This Theater

Artcraft Theatre, Franklin, IN

The Artcraft Theatre was opened on November 1, 1922 as a vaudeville house, seating 879. They later began showing movies. It was the center of the small town of Franklin and was designed by architect Roy C. Bryant. The Artcraft Theatre holds one of the first “air conditioners”: cool water from a well in the basement would be pumped past a large fan which would extract the cold from the water and blow it through the theatre.

The Artcarft Theatre was remodeled in 1948, to the plans of architect Alden Meranda. Franklin Heritage bought the theatre in April of 2004 and is working to restore this Art Deco style theatre back to its original glory.

Contributed by Rob Shilts

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Broan on September 30, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Photos of this theater can be found HERE

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on August 14, 2009 at 12:02 am

Drove by yesterday. Marquee says they’re open during renovation. Huge scaffolding covers front above canopy.

RubyTrio on November 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm

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.

CSWalczak on September 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm

The theater celebrates its 90th birthday: View article

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Here is an item about the Artcraft Theatre from the March 5, 1921, issue of The American Contractor:

“Contract is Awarded. Franklin, Ind.—Theatre (M. P.) & Office Bldg.: $75,000. 2 sty. 25x30. Archt. Roy C. Bryant. Owner The Artcraft Theatre Corp., D. O. Newlin. secy. Gen. contr. let to Roy C. Bryant. Excav.”
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.

paulnelson on January 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Great curved marquee and handsome brick building.

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