The Franklin Theatre took center stage in early August, as guests dressed in their finest cocktail attire and gathered for a red carpet reception under the glowing neon marquee to celebrate the beloved theater’s 10th anniversary. With a little help from the Franklin Fire Department to close down the street, the party took place right on Main Street in historic downtown Franklin.
Singer-songwriter Autumn McEntire (Reba’s wonderfully talented niece) provided musical entertainment for guests as they meandered from table to table or made themselves comfortable at the more homey seating areas complete with plush chairs, sofas and coffee tables in the middle of the street. It was a typically hot and humid Tennessee evening, but refreshing beer, wine and cocktails cooled everyone down as they enjoyed delicious cheese and charcuterie from G Catering under the tents. A tantalizing selection of hors d’œuvres, such as peach and ricotta canapés and smoked trout cakes, were served throughout the crowd.
After the lively cocktail hour, patrons made their way inside for the main event produced by actor, director, designer, costumer and illustrator Matt Logan and featuring live performances by Piper Jones, Laura Matula, John-Mark McGaha, Libby Nevins and Patrick Thomas. Stonecastle Pictures also premiered a mini documentary on the history and future of the Franklin Theatre, and the theater used the occasion to honor two community members who have been instrumental in its revitalization with The David W. Garrett Green Room and The Emily A. Magid Auditorium.
The theater first opened in 1937 and closed in 2007, but the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County stepped in to save the historic building. After three years and $8 million in renovations, the theater reopened in 2011 and has broadened the cultural offerings of the quaint community for the past decade through concerts, performing arts and films.