Granada Theater

6427 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Cam on December 5, 2009 at 11:25 pm

There was a terrific site mentioned in the thread above, written by a guy named Michael Kuecker. The domain has been taken over by different owners, but the original content is still available in the Wayback Machine. It’s not much to look at, but it’s wonderful to read:

View link

If anyone knows how to contact the author, it would be great to hear from him. I’d love to provide a new home for his site. I hate seeing good work like that disappear.

For that matter, anybody who wants to share memories of the Granada is welcome to contact me by email (). I really loved that place.

Recently I’ve been going through some of my old photos, and I’ve got a few more shots of the Granada that I’ll be adding to my gallery.

At the moment, there are about 40, starting here:


kencmcintyre on August 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I’ll bet people would turn off their cellphones in the theater if the manager was armed. This is from the Madison (WI) Capital Times in February 1931:

CHICAGOâ€"Three Negro bandits held up the Granada theater at 6247 Sheridan Road Friday night and fled before the revolver fire of J.J. Katz, the manager, who gave chase after he had been notified of the robbery by a girl cashier. One of the holdup men was believed to have been wounded.

The chase and shooting were witnessed by hundreds of motorists and pedestrians, as it occurred about 10 o'clock, while the crowds from the first performance were still leaving the theater.

jalvar on July 19, 2009 at 7:06 am

A question for thoose of you that know or remember.

Did any of the Chicago theatres have the fabulous stage machinery that Radio City Music Hall has and the the Roxy and the Center Theater had?

scorseseisgod on April 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Here is a Historical Building Survey about the Granada that was commissioned in 1989. It’s long, highly descriptive and sure to bring back a lot of memories of the theater and that section of Rogers Park.

Part 1:
Part 2:


DavidZornig on March 1, 2009 at 8:22 am

The February 5th edition of the Chicago Reader was titled The Rogers Park & West Ridge Issue. It included a column titled The Savages Of Time, which was accompanied by 3 pictures of the Granada Theater. The author dedicated a few paragraphs to his memories of the Granada. Albeit climbing onto it’s roof.

A slight correction to the column, the neighboring bar was called Huey’s. Not Baby Huey’s.

DavidZornig on February 21, 2009 at 9:00 am

An acquaintance recently told me the 60’s “developer” who bought the Granada and a lot of these old theaters, was initially intending to convert them all into Bingo halls. If they were already shuttered at the time of purchase, he likely got the properties on the cheap. But the Bingo angle never materialized.
That was supposedly also the intention of the Devon Theatre. But it was able to live on a little bit longer as a movie house.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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 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 on January 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm

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

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 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 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.