In the early 1900s neighborhood theaters like the Alhambra and Ross Theater popped up all over the city. Motion pictures provided entertainment long before televisions, and the fact that theaters were some of the first businesses in town to don air-conditioning made them great hangouts on hot summer nights.
So it came to be that the Franklin Theater was established around 1908. Aptly named because it was on Franklin Street, it was also referred to as the West End Electric Palace. In 1941, the theater was remodeled covering up the once-ornate exterior. Franklin Theater served the West Side for decades until it closed around 1980.
In 1983, the theater was converted into an adult theater showing pornographic movies. It met its ignoble end when the building was torn down in the mid 1990s. When Smitty's Tavern was opened the old lot was reclaimed as its beer garden.
Franklin Theater at HistoricEvansville.com - http://www.historicevansville.com/site.php?id=franklintheater