The Grand Theatre, located on St. Clair Street in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, opened in 1911. The 135-seat vaudeville house was later wired for “talkies” in the late 1920’s.3 In 1940, the theater expanded with a 600-seat expansion to the back of the original theater which became the primary entrance, and the renovation was completed in the art-deco style. The Grand Theatre closed in 1966.3 4 5
In January 2005, the Grand Theatre was purchased for $385,000 by the Save The Grand Theatre Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to “bringing arts and entertainment to downtown Frankfort.”1 5 On May 27, 2006, The theater reopened with a week-long celebration, “A Grand Awakening,” that included an artists’ reception and an open house, a free concert on the Old State Capitol Lawn, and movies. There were nearly 7,000 paid admissions during the year, and the theater showed 15 classic movies, hosted 13 concerts and was a part of eight events.2
Through the next two years, $7 million in funds were secured from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Franklin County Government, and restoration began on the facility on January 2, 2008.
The Grand Theatre reopened in the summer of 2009 and is able to seat 414 in a multipurpose visual and performing arts center.1[stag_toggle style=”normal” title=”Sources” state=”closed”]
- “About Us.” Save The Grand, Inc. 2008. 18 May 2008 Article.
- “Our Spectacular Season 2006.” Save The Grand, Inc. 2008. 18 May 2008 Listing.
- “Grand Theatre.” Cinema Treasures 2008. 18 May 2008 Article.
- “Open house, movies part of push to save old theater.” Herald-Leader (Lexington) 27 May 2005, 14.
- Cheves, John. “Olive Oyl flusters Popeye again in Frankfort’s Grand.” Herald-Leader (Lexington) 29 May 2005, C1.