Franklin: Then and Now


For over 50 years the giant 41 Twin Outdoor Theater stood on the northwest corner of Drexel Ave. & 27th St. in Franklin. It first opened on July 1, 1948 with one screen and in a year or two the second screen was operational. By 1981, two additional screens were added and parking spaces available for over 3,000 cars. Originally, speakers attached to poles that were brought inside the car provided the film sound. Later AM radio broadcasts and eventually FM stereo broadcasts replaced the outside speakers. Movie goers fondly remember “Buck Nights” and dusk to dawn horror movies.

The last date of operation for the drive-in was on September 16, 2001. Demolition began in 2002 to make way for the new Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance office park. Today two office structures and a parking facility stand on the sight. In 2004 the 41 Twin Outdoor was given historical landmark status by the Milwaukee County Historical Society. A historical marker was placed on the stone wall behind the main sign for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (facing S. 27th St.) in 2005.

Upcoming Events

FHS Annual Meeting

Saturday April 26 - In the Fadrow room of the City of Franklin's public library at 1 PM the FHS will have our annual membership meeting. To begin the event the renowned "Community Choir" will perform. There will be cookies, snacks and beverages. This will be open to the general public for no charge. The business meeting for the FHS will follow the choir and a break for the food.

FHS Spring Barn Dance

Sunday May 4 - At the Hideaway Pub & Eatery 9643 S. 76 St. from 1 PM to 4 PM. Music by Vern & The Originals, dancing, raffles and a lot of fun. Tickets in advance are $7 per person or $12 per couple at the Hideaway or call Luanne Burdick at 414-423-0065. At the door, $10 per person or $15 per couple. All proceeds will go for the FHS barn raising project.

What's New

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Chapel Weddings

Our chapel is available for weddings and other ceremonies. Couples interested in a quaint chapel wedding ceremony are welcome to rent the St. Peters Chapel for such a service. The chapel holds up to 50 guests and an organist is available if requested. For reservations, contact Barbara Pforr at Bap4@earthlink.net.

Tours Available

We love to show our buildings to anyone interested in a tour. If your group or organization is interested in a tour please contact us to schedule.

Living Museums

Whelan School Living History Experience: Teachers are invited to sign up their elementary class for a day of learning in a rural one room school setting. Contact Barbara Pforr at Bap4@earthlink.net for more details.

Scout Outings

Tours of our grounds make great outings for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.