I’ll pretty much always stop to photograph an old neon sign when it’s lit.
On our annual road trip Dawn and I made our last stop in Franklin, which is about 20 miles south of downtown Indianapolis on US 31. Actually, downtown Franklin is on old US 31, and as we approached from the south we made a last-minute call to follow the old road through town. We were very happy we did when we came upon the Artcraft Theater’s sign lit.
Our last visit to Franklin had been nine years before, almost to the day. I remembered the sign as being in rougher shape, so when I got home I looked through my photographs. As you can see from my 2008 photo below, I remembered right. The sign had been restored! Turns out the whole theater has been restored; see photos here.
The Artcraft was built in 1922 as a vaudeville house and to show silent movies. It operated as a movie theater through 2000, a remarkable run in the multiplex era. A nonprofit bought the building in 2004 and, through grants, restored it. Today the theater is used for special events and shows classic films every week.
As we passed through, old US 31 was closed in front of the theater as cars lined up, trunks and tailgates open, to pass candy to trick-or-treaters. It was the Saturday before Halloween.
Pentax K10D, 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA
To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe!
Last updated on 8 April 2020 by Jim Grey