Grand Theatre

308 St. Clair Street,
Frankfort, KY 40601

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Grand Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Chakeres Theaters Inc.

Architects: John J. Curtis, Leon K. Frankel

Firms: Frankel and Curtis

Functions: Community Arts Center, Concerts, Movies (Classic)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 502.319.4763
Manager: 502.319.4763

Nearby Theaters

Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre was one of five theatres that operated in historic downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, between the mid-1800’s and the 1970’s, and it is the only one still existing with its theatre configuration intact. The larger and more elegant Capitol Theatre was torn down in the 1970’s and the other three theatres were permanently converted into office space. The Grand Theatre was originally built in 1911 as a small (135 seat) vaudeville house. Silent movies were also shown, and in the late-1920’s, the theatre was wired for “talkies”.

In 1940, the Grand Theatre went through a significant transformation and reopened on July 17, 1941 with Priscilla Lane in “Million Dollar Baby” & Robert Livingstone in “Lone Star Raiders”. A new 600 seat theatre was added to the back of the original theatre which became the entrance and the renovation was done in a Streamline Moderne style, popular at the time. The Grand Theatre was operated as a movie theater by Chakeres Theaters Inc. until it closed in 1963. From 1965 the property has been used for a variety of commercial purposes, the most recent being real estate offices and an auction center.

On January 12, 2005, a nonprofit group, Save the Grand Theatre, Inc., purchased the property with the purpose of renovating the Grand Theatre into a multi-purpose community arts center. Until the $3.7 million is raised to complete renovation, the existing space will be used for a variety of arts programming and fundraising.

Contributed by Michael Greer

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

The Grand is slated to re-open in 2009 as a performing arts center.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm

The March 15, 1941, issue of Boxoffice ran an item announcing the closing of the Grand for remodeling, describing the plan to build a new theater behind the existing building and convert the former auditorium into a lobby. Manager Gene Lutes said the house would be closed for about three months.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2017 at 4:58 am

The major addition to the Grand Theatre in 1941 was designed by the Lexington architectural firm Frankel and Curtis, and is listed in the finding aid to the Frankel and Curtis papers as the New Grand Theatre for Frankfort Amusement Company.

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