FRANKLIN, Ind. - If you want to take your family to see a movie and get snacks this weekend, it could cost you a pretty penny!
But that's not the story in the town of Franklin, home of the historic Artcraft Theatre.
Named after Benjamin Franklin, the town is about 20 miles south of Indianapolis.
The Artcraft Theatre opened in 1922 on Main Street as a silent theatre and Vaudeville house.
In 1948, an art deco style was added, hence all the neon lights.
The theatre looks nearly the same today!
So what's the link from then to now? Rob Shilts!
"I ended up here in 1995," said Rob. "It was the typical story of chasing a girl down to Indiana!"
Rob also had a love for architecture and joined the nonprofit historic preservation group, Franklin Heritage.
"I asked how much money they had in the bank account and they said $3,000 and I said OK, let’s buy a house, and we bought the worst house in town and restored it and sold it and that’s how it started."
Then in 2004, the theatre put up a "for sale" sign for $175,000.
"We took on the task of buying this theatre. For a small little nonprofit, that’s quite a feat."
It took a couple months to get things in working order for the re-opening night showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark, or so they thought it was in working order.
"We had a packed house and then the entire theatre went dark! But our electrician was in the audience and he went backstage and got duct tape, on oscillating fan and a ladder."
And the show went on!
People visit for the classic movies and the extras. Before each show there is a short skit, a prize drawing and a prize for the person who traveled the furthest.
The prices reflect the past, too. A family of four can get popcorn, candy, drinks and tickets for about $30.
"When we bought the theatre in 2004, there wasn’t a lot going on downtown. So once we started doing this, other people started painting their facades and started doing a lot of work on the buildings and that kind of brought this little renaissance around."
Forty thousand people visit the Artcraft Theatre each year and that is pretty impressive for a town of only 24,000 people!
12 Angry Men from 1957 is playing this weekend. Next weekend you can catch Hocus Pocus. The theatre is hosting a Retro Rewind August 25 and 26, showing classics from the 1980s.
Mark your calendar for September 29! That's when tickets for Christmas movies go on sale and they sell out fast!
Check out the full schedule and learn more about the Artcraft Theatre here.