Franklin’s Canary Creek Cinemas to close after 24-year run

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Canary Creek Cinemas, Franklin’s only multiplex movie theater, will be closing its doors this weekend after a 24-year run.

“Unfortunately due to many many circumstances beyond our staff members’ control, the owners have decided that Canary Creek Cinemas will be closing,” the theater wrote in a Facebook message. “Our final day will be Sunday December 31.”

IBJ sought additional details on the closure, but theater staffers did not respond to an email and phone message.

Canary Creek, at 870 Mallory Parkway, just west of U.S. 31 and north of downtown Franklin, includes eight indoor screens plus an adjacent outdoor screen that serves as a seasonal drive-in theater.

The theater has ties to the Historic Artcraft Theatre, a century-old single-screen theater that continues to operate in downtown Franklin.

According to the Artcraft’s website, Canary Creek was built by Mike Rembusch, whose family also owned the Artcraft at that time.

Mike Rembusch’s grandfather was Frank Rembusch of Shelbyville, a businessman who opened one of the nation’s first theaters designed for motion pictures, the Alhambra in Shelbyville. Frank Rembusch began renting the Artcraft in 1928, six years after that theater’s opening, and later purchased the theater. Upon his death in 1936, Frank Rembusch was succeeded by his son, Trueman Rembusch, who began a company called Syndicate Theatres to manage the family’s group of movie theaters.

Shortly after Canary Creek opened, in June 2000, Mike Rembusch sold the Artcraft to local businessman Bob Scofield, who also owned another well-known downtown Franklin business—The Willard restaurant.

According to the Daily Journal, a Franklin-based newspaper, Mike Rembusch was involved with Canary Creek until 2020, when the theater was sold to Indianapolis-based Mega Holdings LLC. Rembusch died in 2021.

The Daily Journal story indicated that Canary Creek had been in decline over the past few years.

Recently, the theater has been open only four days a week, and only utilizing a few of its eight screens.

Earlier this month, in response to a Facebook query from a patron about why the theater was showing so few movies, Canary Creek wrote that it had only two working movie projectors.

Canary Creek’s final showings will happen this weekend. The theater’s website is advertising screenings of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday; and Wonka at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

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