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Storm-damaged movie theater prepares to reopen after repairs

The marquee of the Artcraft Theatre in downtown Franklin, Indiana, received temporary repairs after being damaged in a storm March 31, 2023. (Provided Photo/Franklin Heritage Inc.)

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane will be on screen when the Artcraft Theatre reopens after suffering damage in storms that hit March 31 in Johnson County.

Repairs to the fly loft, the area over the stage, have stabilized the building at 57 N. Main St. in downtown Franklin. The theater is about 2 miles west of the I-65 interchange for State Road 44.

An engineering firm inspected the building and found it safe to reopen after its repairs, theater operators say.

The Artcraft’s marquee and ticket booth also were damaged in the storm. As the theater prepares to reopen Thursday, scaffolding may remain in place to address the cosmetic damage to the front of the theater.

The 625-seat, single-screen movie theatre was built in 1922. It’s on the Indiana State Register of Historic Places.

A four-show run of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” the 1944 Frank Capra-directed comedy, will reopen the theater. Local businesses are sponsoring the free showing for people 55 and older at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

People who’d purchased tickets for shows that were canceled after the storm were offered refunds or a chance to donate to the repairs.