Granada Theater

6427 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60626

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rjacobsonmd
rjacobsonmd on December 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm

My father owned the popcorn and candy store next to the Granada in the late 20’s and early 30’s, before I was born. He then began to make his own popcorn machines and established the Kripy Kist Korn Machine Co. at 120 so. Halsted in 1933, eventually renamed Krispy Kist Co. manufacturing all sorts of machines for the snack food industry.

His strongest wish was that all popcorn be cooked on a gas popper without oil and that “pure creamery butter” be used as the flavoring. His company was very involved in the snack food industry in the post WWII period up until it was sold about 10 years ago.

Caramelcorn was his specialty and I still make the original recipe for the holiday season. The Karamelcorn stores in downtown Chicago were users of our machines as well as a competitor’s machines.

If anyone remembers his original store or has any further info, I’d appreciate hearing from you.

Richard Jacobson,
Granada Hills, Ca. (I just realized the coincidence of where I live)

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on December 5, 2008 at 11:26 am

I happened by the site of the old Granada Theatre today on the “L”.
Geographically, there is a multi-level parking structure where the Granada formerly stood. With retail in the front.
The taller building is actually to the North of that. Where Ramblers, Minstrels & Huey’s etc. used to be.
There is also a massive condominum structure across the street where the New Old Place restaurant used to be.
It’s like a dark corridor now.

So, does this make Joni Mitchell a prophet?

itzawrap
itzawrap on November 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I grew up in Rogers Park. Going to the movies on Saturdays was a favorite pass time during the early to late 60’s. Admission was 25cents, pop corn – 15cents….double features were the norm. Took many a date there during high school. I even remember it before the apartment building on the corner to it’s south was built.

Eventually the Granada closed as a movie palace and live shows moved in.

In late 1981 we used the interior as a location for a short sales film. We used the dressing rooms downstairs, backstage and the stage. It was a dream come true for me as I was able to see behind the scenes of one of my favorite theaters from my childhood. So sad to see it go to the ash heap of history.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Here is an excerpt from an article in the New Castle (PA) News, dated 6/11/56:

CHICAGO (UP) â€" The nationwide search for the shotgun killer of three persons set off a near riot in a jammed movie theater Sunday night. About 3,000 persons jammed the street outside the Granada Theater on the North Side when they heard that police had trapped killer Lawrence Neumann inside. Two women fainted in the crush. The crowd got out of control and 15 squads of police already on the scene had to radio for reinforcements. The police were waiting their chance to nab a member of the audience who matched Neumann’s description. But when they caught up with him, it turned out the man was not Neumann.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 26, 2008 at 9:17 am

The Granada was indeed a beautiful place. I remember seeing the `60’s cartoon “The Aristocats”, Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” & “Taxi Driver” all at the Granada. After OHMSS, we went to a carnival set up on Loyola’s then track field. Behind and to the East.

It was a shame the Granada couldn’t be saved. Loyola also tore down their own vintage dark brick athletic building just North & behind the tracks.
The one that long had their 1963 Basketball Championship signage on it. Visible from the “L”.
I drove by when the Granada was being torn down. I’m sure Loyola had their own plans in mind long before it all happened. Just as they did on Pearson Street, down on the Near North Side. Quigley beware.
They also took over what was called Mundelien College, East on Devon near the lakefront. Fully incorporating it all into their campus.

I didn’t know that there was a different, classic marquee originallyon the Granada. I can’t wait for Mr. Kuecker’s new website.

For the record, Broadway was originally called Evanston Avenue. Probably because it led to where else, Evanston.
Years back, there was a church that burned & was torn down about 3 blocks North of Belmont on Broadway. When it was being razed, the exposed corner stone said “Evanston Avenue Church”. Northbound Broadway turns into Sheridan at Devon.

North of the Granada on Sheridan in the 70's &80’s, were Loyola bar Ramblers, Minstrels, & Hueys. Hueys was a bar with live bands that you had to go up a long stairwell to enter. The bouncers knew the advantage of their stairwell quite well. They’d stage guys at the top & street level. Trouble was oddly beaten UP the stairs, to avoid whatever scene was caused.

Across the street was a breakfast joint called The New Old Place. It was 24 hours for a while. They did great biz after the bars closed. Loyola then took it over as their Fine Arts studios. But it still retained it’s restaurant, Tudor style roofline & huge parking lot until it was all torn down. It had one large peak over the entrance, and smaller peaks over the rest.

I wish I’d known Harry Chapin was at the Granada. I wasn’t far from there then, and would have made the effort.
I wonder if any program/handbills still exist from the Granada when it briefly ventured into concerts. I’m also curious what year the giant, vertical Granada sign was removed, and if it coincided with the newer marquee.

MKuecker
MKuecker on July 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Hey Lev1,
Get in touch with me. I’d love to hear more of your personal story for my webpage which is a tribute to The Granada :)

Lev1
Lev1 on July 10, 2008 at 11:26 am

Hello, I was one of those who let themselves in during the late 80’s. A friend and I had ##### the Laser security systems in place and for about 8 months or so, had the greatest club-house on the North-side. The Theatre was amazing and seemed in very good shape at the time. I dont want to get into too much detail but our small group of friends really did care about the Theatre and it was only after letting a certain girl in did things take a turn, for she had showed and told friends who were gang members how to get in! Needless to say they ransacked the place destroying and spray painting every thing in sight. We were distraught, we did the only thing we thought we could do at 15… We, on the main floor pulled a couple display cases together and lit them up. We wanted the police, fire, etc there to close everything down and stop the Gang from returning. Not sure how effective it was tho, we walked up devon ave. watching the fire trucks go by and never returned. I still have the Zippo to this day.

Despite the graffiti The Granada could have been saved. The damage wasn’t as bad as I thought even then. So any who would say otherwise is just looking for excuses.

-Lev1

Gwenney
Gwenney on May 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Fond memories of both the Granada and the Aragon. My kind of town.
To MPGLEFIN The artist you are looking for, if your still looking is Jim Annis. They just don’t build them like these anymore.

LuisV
LuisV on April 7, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Hi Geo, good to have you back! As I posted above, I grew up attending The Valencia and I’ve attended films in the newly restored Jersey. I still haven’t been to The Paradise and The Loews 175th St (though still technically a church) is very much one of New York’s premier concert facilities. The one black eye has been the sad state of Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn. However, a lot is going on behind the scenes there and I would ask you to go to the Kings CT page to see my post there about today’s tour of the theater for developers interested in restoring the city! I was there and it was exciting to finally see some real movement on restoring one of the nation’s most beautiful and opulent palaces ever constructed!

jukingeo
jukingeo on April 7, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Hello guys been a while since I been here, so I have some catching up to do.

Luis V.

I guess we cleared up that above. Yes, I do recommend visiting the Loews Wonder Theatres. There are three more as well, one is in Brooklyn…The Kings (I believe), The 175th st Manhattan, and the Jersey City theater. All are still standing and all except the Brooklyn are still being used. Both the Jersey City and Paradise continue operation as a Theatre. The 175th st Theatre and the Valencia are run by a churches.

Life’s Too Short:

A while back I think I did post a link to a picture here of the Granada with its original Marquee.

Look through it. Email me if you can’t find it, I can’t post a picture here. But I have one with the original Marquee lit at night. It should be in the discussion on the Styx Paradise Theatre album cover I did a while back.

BW Chicago:

That IS a nice aerial shot. In the picture, it would have looked like the Granada had a nice parking lot if it wasn’t for that road wasting all that good space there. To bad the neighborhood soured. To bad the building couldn’t be moved :(. But it was a building worth saving. The Granada is one of my favorite theatre buildings.

Geo

MKuecker
MKuecker on April 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Thanks BWChicago :)
I guess that was from the original GoogleEarth huh? :)
Evanstone Ave? Which was Evanstone? The curved street just off the motorway?

Broan
Broan on April 7, 2008 at 11:55 am

Here is an aerial image

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm

That is the first picture I have ever seen of the original vertical sign from the north. As fantastic as it must have been, I can’t help but notice how much it blocks the facade from view. The Granada’s facade is the definitely the greatest example of terra cotta workmanship I have ever seen firsthand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

With regard to screen captures, I’ve usually used print screen (sometimes from a full screen, if the size of the image requires it), and then saved the file to my default image viewer program, which is IrfanView. I might try MWSnap myself, though, as I like the idea of being able to edit a capture prior to saving it, rather than after, as I must do in IrfanView. Thanks, BW.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Thanks. I downloaded the program, let me see if I can make it work.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on January 2, 2008 at 8:38 am

The San Francisco Fox is also one of the greatest movie palaces ever built. The Paramount in Oakland is also an Art Deco masterpiece.brucec

LuisV
LuisV on January 2, 2008 at 8:08 am

Hi Geo, I totally agree with you! I think Radio City is spectacular, but I don’t think that you could fairly compare it to theaters like the Uptown or The Roxy. I too find these theaters much more elaborate than Radio City. That is why I have to put Radio City in its own category.

I do plan on touring th Loew’s Paradise in The Bronx as you suggest. I’m facinated by Loew’s Wonder Theaters. Loew’s Valencia was one of my neighborhood theaters growing up and is an increbuly beautiful structure. I had a chance to tour Loew’s King’s last winter and even in its decayed state, it is one of the most beautiful theaters I have ever seen. I’ve attended a film at the renovated Loew’s Jersey and was very impressed. I’m very much looking forward to taking the tour of The Paradise in the Spring and finally visitng Loew’s 175th Street which has become a big concert venue.

jukingeo
jukingeo on January 2, 2008 at 6:42 am

Hello LuisV,

I take it you were aiming that at me since I made the comparisons of the three. I believe the words I used above were ‘more elaborate’…in which case both the Roxy and Uptown ARE more elaborate than Radio City. But then again both the Roxy and Uptown are more elaborate styles. Going by Genre now, yes, Radio City it at it’s very best in reference to the Art Deco style…which is plainer than the styles of the other two theatres. You simply must see interior pictures of the Uptown to understand what I am referring to.
I am NOT saying that Radio City isn’t a beautiful theatre. But if you do try to compare it to the Roxy or Uptown in terms of how elaborate the decor is…there is no comparison. Radio City has and always will be a favorite theatre of mine. So will the others, even though I never been to them. If you are from the NYC neck of the woods, the recently restored Loews Paradise in the Bronx is a definite must see.

JG

LuisV
LuisV on January 1, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I just want to comment on the statements above as to which theater was more beautiful: The Uptown, Radio City or The Roxy. I’ve thought about that many times and I just can’t compare Radio City (which is Art Deco and dates from the 30’s) to The Roxy and The Uptown (which date from the 20’s and were Spanish Designs). They are just too different in style to properly compare. They are all the best of their class and so I chose not to choose. I have not had the opportunity to visit either The Uptown or The Roxy so I can only go by the pictures I’ve seen on CT. As such, I think it is an incredible draw between the two. Radio City stands in an Art Deco league of its own. Another contender would be the Art Noveau masterpiece New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd St; another theater with no equal.

jukingeo
jukingeo on November 13, 2007 at 4:56 am

Hello IM,

I would love to see the house, but I now have twin baby boys to attend to. So traveling will probably be out for the next 5 to 6 years.

As for the Uptown…I think if a good plan for parking is implented that would give the Uptown a serious support boost. This way if there is a good place for people to park, then more then likely the would sell out more seats.

Buildings like this are dwindling in numbers and it is extremely rare to find something of this size still in restorable shape. I too, am hoping for the best.

JG

MKuecker
MKuecker on November 12, 2007 at 10:11 pm

I am interested in a tour of the SanFillippo house. How do I get on the list? :)

IMRadioactive
IMRadioactive on October 29, 2007 at 9:04 am

Greetings,

Geo,

Actually I believe the ultimate reason for the Granada’s demise was how valuable the land had become…especially to Loyola University. In the late 70’s, the block around the theater had some head shops and a bar (Huey’s, if I’m not mistaken) that the University wanted to see those places gone.

If you’re interested in the San Fillippo house tour, it’s part of the yearly meeting of the Midwest chapter of the Music Box Society…they usually hold that tour/meeting in May. If you have a few music boxes in your possession, it might be worth joining. It’s a fascinating group of people.

Here’s hoping the Uptown is rehabilitated to its past glory. I saw several movies and concerts there in the 60’s and 70’s and remember how it anchored the Uptown area. This gem needs to be saved.

Cheers…

goldylocks
goldylocks on October 29, 2007 at 6:32 am

Hi Geo,

Yes, I’m aware of the Uptown and its possible demise I signed the petition and I hope they are able to save it somehow, but I wouldn’t hold my breath because most of our great city leaders are into profiting for themselves rather than preserving artistic history. Short results seem to outweigh long term goals and we loose alot of beautiful history because of it.I use to love to ride the bus from my far northside neighborhood to the Uptown and see the many Horror flicks they played it was really an adventure for me,although I didn’t know it at the time I was really lucky to have that.debear

jukingeo
jukingeo on October 29, 2007 at 5:09 am

Hello Debear:

That is why it is all important to rally together and save what palaces we can. In your neck of the woods that would be the Uptown. The Uptown is very close in styling as to the Granada.

The trouble is the much of the area around the Uptown needs to be improved. Parking for on is an issue. But in the case of the Uptown it is worth it. Because of it’s large size the Uptown could very easily be Chicago’s Radio City. It is, in fact physically larger than Radio City (but not exeeding it’s capacity).

I think the biggest problem facing old theatres today is either a lack of a defined use, parking issues, and depressed downtown areas. Many old towns are reforming and trying to rebuild their downtown areas so that is a help. With gas prices rising, people are going to
turn to local entertainment again. The big issue is parking and this is one of the things the Uptown faces.

The Granada, unfortunately, was in a depressed area and faced the other problems I mentioned above. Sadly that has sealed it’s fate.

The famous Chicago Paradise does have a sister, the Loews Paradise in
the Bronx. It’s future was very grim until several groups of people got together and saved it and restored it. Granted it isn’t like the
Chicago Paradise, but it does share some of it’s styling. It is, of course, a John Eberson Atmospheric…my favorite :).

Geo