In 2011, the Franklin Theatre reopened after a multi-year campaign, led by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, to save the historic movie house originally built in 1937. The effort involved more than simply saving the theater it was totally reinvented as a state-of-the-art live music showplace and multi-purpose venue that’s been recognized as one of the great historic showplaces in America.
Recognizing the need for the non-profit to have dedicated board leadership focused on the theater’s mission, the Heritage Foundation created a separate board in 2013 which recently appointed new leadership.
Kelly Frey becomes the board’s new president effective immediately and brings a wealth of experience and passion about film and entertainment. He has served as Executive Producer for half a dozen feature films shot in the local area over the last couple of years and as past-president of the Nashville Film Festival and current president of the Nashville Japanese Film Festival. Kelly is an attorney and partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP (an AmLaw 100 firm with more than 575 attorneys and government relations professionals and offices in 10 states and Washington, DC). As an attorney he is known for his work in technology law and was selected last year as both “Best of the Bar” in Technology Law by the Nashville Business Journal and Nashville “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® in Information Technology. He is author of the legal treatise “Frey on Technology Transactions and Intellectual Property” and one of the few attorneys in private practice to be named a Fellow of the World Technology Network (for legal work deemed by the other Fellows of the WTN as “most likely to be of long-term significance”) – other Fellows include such tech notables as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Elon Musk (Tesla), and Bill Gates (Microsoft).
“The Franklin Theatre has a unique charm for creating special experiences that touch the lives of our patrons, performers and community every day. I’m humbled to be asked to serve in this capacity,” says Mr. Frey.
He assumes the post held by Wendell Moore (MNA Government Relations) who continues to serve on the board and whose volunteer service as president for four years is much applauded by his colleagues.
Reappointed to new terms in their leadership post are board vice-president Donna Douglas (Jackson National Life Insurance Company), treasurer Andy Marshall (Marshall Family Foods) and board secretary Cliff O’Sullivan (Parks Real Estate). Other board leadership include: Emily Magid, Connie Haley, Paul Polycarpou, Robert Deaton, Greg Ham and Bari Beasley.
The Franklin Theatre, an intimate experience with 297 seats, hosted more than 591 events with ticketed attendance of 82,018 in 2017. Musical highlights since reopening have included hundreds of live concerts from diverse genres including Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, Art Garfunkel, Ronnie Dunn, Keb Mo’, John Hiatt, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, Mac Davis and more. It continues to feature movies and serves as host to theatrical productions, corporate functions, community events and charity events (which have helped raise more than $5 million since reopening).
The Franklin Theatre is located at 419 Main St in downtown Franklin. For more information about the theater’s history and upcoming events, visit www.franklintheatre.com.