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Get Out of Town, | Dec 31, 2016

Old Hollywood Charm in Southern Indiana

Check out 812’s small town theater favorites

One of the things that makes Southern Indiana so unique is its historic charm. This area has a surprising amount of historic theaters and cinemas that are still in use. It is important to spread restoration education in an attempt to keep this unique part of Southern Indiana’s history alive. Here are some of the theaters in the area that are doing so.

The Historical Artcraft Theater

57 North Main Street in Franklin, IN 46131


Featured in a 2015 issue of Midwest Living as one of their “4 Favorite Restored Small-Town Cinemas” the Artcraft opened in 1922 as a silent movie house. Today, it stands as one of Indiana State Register of Historic Places and one of the best examples of art deco in the area “which was added in 1948 along with the neon accents,” said Danny Causey of the Franklin Heritage Inc. The Artcraft hosts bi-weekly to weekly showings of classic and contemporary movies with the occasional inclusion of live stage events. To continue the town’s historic preservation mission, Madison Street Salvage and current owner Franklin Heritage Inc. have teamed up to create educational workshops on restoration and salvage tips. Currently, show times are usually Friday and Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. as well as Sunday at 2 p.m..  Adult movie tickets are $5.00, senior citizens, military, and students are $4.00, and children 12 and under are $3.00. Special acts or live entertainment prices may vary.

The Damm Theatre

117 North Buckeye Street in Osgood, IN 47037


This theater got its name from owner Louis Damm, a German immigrant who marketed Osgood as “Home of the Damm Theatre.”  Since the opening in 1922, the business has remained in the Damm family and has only closed once since 1989. The theater can host almost any type of entertainment act, which allowed it to compete with other theaters in larger cities. “The original theater even had a dance hall on the second floor as well as a Wurlitzer organ,” said Karen Black, Damm Theatre manager. Currently, show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.. Adult movie tickets are $6.00, and tickets for children 12 and under are $4.00. Live entertainment tickets vary in price depending on the act.

The Historic Tivoli Theater

24 North Washington Street in Spencer, IN 47460


This local theater opened its doors to more than 1,200 attendees on New Year’s Eve Weekend 1928. Its exterior resembles a California mission with a Spanish garden inside - complete with a night sky and twinkling stars on the ceiling. Restoration was made possible “In April of 2012 [when] the Cook Group Inc. announced that they would sponsor the restoration project,” said Deb Jordan, board member of Tivoli Theater. Today, the Tivoli theater showcases movies and live events for all ages every Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. with an occasional Thursday 7 p.m. or Sunday 2 p.m. viewing depending on the current series. Tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 12 and under.

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