Granada Theater

6427 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, IL 60626

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Showing 126 - 150 of 172 comments

Amosduncan on May 5, 2006 at 11:57 am

This was a beautiful place. I saw a lot of things there, I think it was part of the Plitt chain, circa 73 to 76.
Jack Nicholson came for the world premire of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” a guy had his autograph
at the little Greek place next door.
I sat in this huge, almost empty palace on some summer afternoons for “Harry and Tonto” “Chinatown” “The
Conversation” and more. Part of a era in movie going that passed too soon.

jukingeo on April 6, 2006 at 9:26 am

Hello All,

Been doing some research on the Granada lately and low and behold I have to make a correction to what I said above in terms of the Granada’s marquee. As it turns out the artist DID get inspriation from the Granada’s marquee as well, but at the point I wrote the post above I didn’t know the Granada’s marquee was changed and originally looked like this:


SAWEET! There it is. I love this marquee.

But y'all wanna see double. Getta loada this:

(Click on the picture to make it big)

View link

Yup! Twin sisters.

I got the THSA 1999 Annual on these theatres. A MUST for anyone intersted in them. The book also explains the slight difference between the Granada and the Marbro as well. There are two other theatres covered in there as well…The Regal and Diversy I believe. But the pictures and documentation is incredible. Many many thanks to Jim Rankin for pointing these out to me. As he puts it, “You will not find better pictures anywhere”.

After my readings, I must say that it does upset me that both these theatres were destroyed. But what angers me the most is that the Granada hung on to the 90’s and it seems like very little was done to save it. I know, I know it is easier said than done to save an old theatre and it does appear us theatre lovers are in the minority. But the big picture (pun intended) is once these gems are destroyed…they are gone and will never be replaced.

There are few instances of hope. I was very happy to learn that the Bronx Loews Paradise was recently saved and restored. This theatre is not too far from me…and I only learned about it recently as well. I will be checking this one out for sure!

G'day all and enjoy the pix.


beardbear31 on March 30, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Sorry, it appears that the website recently lost it’s webspace… However I saved the picture with “State Street Sadie” on the marquee. E-mail me at , and I will send you the picture.

jukingeo on March 30, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Hello All

BEARDBEAR31—I am interested in seeing this picture of the Paradise with State Street Sadie on the Marquee, however your links do not work. Yes, you are correct, that is also the name of a song on the album.

However, I do have to disagree with you in terms of the album art. Here is why.

Here is a picture of the REAL paradise theatre:

Here is a picture of the Styx Paradise Theatre Album:

View link

Finally here is a picture of the Granada Theatre:

View link

NOW everyone compare the facades (NOT the marquees). Yes, the album art is closer to the Granada than the Paradise. The Paradise didn’t have the three window layout. Has anyone ever seen the full art layout for the Paradise Theatre album? I have. It shows the crest on top of the theatre and it clearly is just about identical to that of the Granada Theatre.


sdoerr on January 3, 2006 at 8:57 am

Wow, this appears to be a beauitful theater.

Reminds me somewhat of the Michigan Theater here in Detroit.

The lobby is comparable to that of Rapp & Rapp.

Such a shame this beautiful treasure had to be demolished.

kmulkey on August 23, 2005 at 12:31 pm

I saw Harry Chapin at the Granada in 1979. What a great place. I believe it was one of his last concerts before his death. He came out in the lobby afterwards and shook hands, signed autographs, etc. Very cool.

MKuecker on May 14, 2005 at 12:53 am

For those of you who posted reference to my webpage, I thank you very kindly for the promotional advertising. :)

Visit me again:

You will find a wealth of info.

warhorse on April 12, 2005 at 2:54 pm

And yet beautiful. Partly because they help us remember what the Granada once looked like.

scorseseisgod on March 31, 2005 at 12:21 pm

Here is a photograph of the theater in mid-demolition.

View link

I spent a lot of quality time watching movies in this grand old barn. Remmeber the water fountain? There was a switch on the wall that looked like a doorbell that you pushed to get the water. That 24-sheet for “Cleopatra” was plastered to the side of the building for well over a year.

beardbear31 on March 25, 2005 at 10:15 pm

The drawing of the Paradise Theater for the Styx album cover was NOT taken from a picture of the Granada….. it was taken from a picture of the actual Paradise Theater..the picture even had the name of the movie, “State Street Sadie” on the marquee, which was a song on the album…also the taxi on the album cover is there…. this picture can be found at:….and the woman with the outstreached arms, on top of the marquee on the album cover, is actually part of the interior decor, which can also be found further on this website..

JimRankin on March 11, 2005 at 12:31 am

The previous two posts echo what so many of us ‘theatres buffs’ have experienced: the last visit shortly before demolition of a once beautiful theatre. These are favorite accounts at the ‘Slide Bashes’ (shows after the banquet) at the annual conventions of the Theatre Historical Society in a different city every summer. They are called “CONCLAVES” and are detailed on thier web site: where you click on Conclaves. I am not a photographer like many of the guys who show their slides at the conventions, but I have many bittersweet memories of being among the last to tour a theatre before it became rubble, but yet regret the far greater number I had never seen before each one’s fateful day. I once thought of combining my stories of such melancholy tours, but I am afraid that it would be too melancholy to read! :(

jayBeye on March 10, 2005 at 2:49 pm

While living in Chicago in 1973 I happened one day to catch a janitor at the theater and asked if I could come in and take some photos. He kindly let me in and for three hours or so I wandered all over the building in awe. What a magnificant building. It makes me sad to hear that it has been razed. I see the same thing here in California. No regard for the intricate beauties and harmonies of classic architecture. I did see a number of films there but never abnle to sneak up to the balcony.

warhorse on February 7, 2005 at 8:10 pm

You know, I really enjoyed that story about the guy’s exploration into the decaying bowels of the theater. Just fascinating.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 7, 2005 at 4:44 pm

Copies of old lists of the AIA’s membership would be handy to have in circumstances like this. Some large public library somewhere must have them. Copies of regional versions of “Who’s Who” would be useful, too. I don’t think any of them are online yet, but public libraries usually have them for their area. It should be easy enough for somebody in Chicago to double check this.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 7, 2005 at 4:07 pm

According to the index at the Chicago Art Institute, the name of the architect is Eichenbaum, not Eichenberg.

Fricanoj on January 8, 2005 at 6:00 am

I was an usher at the Granada in 1968. the first movie I remember seeing there was “The Graduate”. I was there for about a year and rose to the rank of Head Usher. I remember the huge lobby and how it used to fill up before a show. We used to hold inspections an Saturday nights to makee sure all the ushers were looking there best. I’ve explored the theater from top to bottom. from the roof, to the “catacombs” as we used to call them under the seats in the auditorium, to the huge spiral staircase on the top level of the backstage area. The managers I worked under were Mr. Grossman who eventually went to the United Artists Theater Downtown and then Mr. Dave Klingman who wound up going to the Nortown. We did a lot of crazy things there including spending an overnight there, (we wern’t supposed to but we did anyway). I was also there as they were tearing it down and I also have a brick from the building. I think about those days constantly and remember them as some of the best times I had.
Joe Fricano

OliverQLauder on December 30, 2004 at 7:51 pm

I was a student at Loyola from 1984 to 1989.

I also “let myself in” several times in the late 1980’s as the demolition was under way. One day, someone had smashed all of the Granada’s glass doors and I just walked in one day. I have often described the interior as appearing as it had been bombed during WWII.

I will never forget walking around the rubble with little light but being amazed. The highlight of my tour was walking into a pitch black room and hitting my flash. For a fraction of a second, the entire theatre opened up. I was actually in the auditorium. I snapped away. Today, I have two pieces of ornamental plaster from the Granada hanging in my kitchen. Will never forget this place. Today, it is a shame that unless you knew it was there, there is not a trace of it today on Sheridan road.

Oliver Q. Lauder
Aurora, IL

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 9, 2004 at 3:55 am

The architect at Levy and Klein who designed the Granada was Edward E. Eichenbaum.

The original architectural drawings of the Granada are in the possession of the Art Institute of Chicago, and can be viewed there by qualified scholars. (I believe they can be seen only by appointment.)

JeffWeinstein on October 15, 2004 at 6:19 pm

I saw “Logan’s Run” and Streisand’s “A Star is Born” in this theater in the 70’s. Years later, I attended a Cheap Trick concert here. I think the reason it ultimately closed was due to a lack of PARKING. There was NO parking lot nearby, and the residential area was (and is) VERY congested.

However, the theater also was just TOO BIG to survive. It is a shame that this is the case, but in the day and age of the 6, 12 and 20+ screen theaters, it just could not compete.

warhorse on August 30, 2004 at 6:47 pm

Thanks, that is a relief that no bomb ever went off at OUR Granada. Even if it would have been long before most of us were around.

RobertR on August 30, 2004 at 9:15 am

A 50s view of Sheridan Road, showing the towering vertical sign of the Granada, can be seen here.
posted by Bryan Krefft on Apr 22, 2004 at 11:06pm

This sign was HUGE what a loss it’s all gone

warhorse on August 29, 2004 at 6:55 pm

I, too, remember the Granada fondly. I believe this is where we first saw South Pacific and Auntie Mame. We would come to the occasional movie in the ‘50s and '60s. I guess we couldn’t wait for the movie to come to the Varsity and Valencia (they’re all gone now).

After we moved to Rogers Park in ‘70 it (and the old 400) were the closest theaters. The Granada was always preferable to the little 400.

It was a beautiful theater inside and out.

What I want to know is why it was bombed in 1928? Wasn’t that one of your photos, Brian? Was that part of the war between either the owners or projectionists or the mob or all of the above?

I have thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s comments. It brings back good memories of a wonderful theater.

And I don’t know the condition of the building at the end. It may have been in sad shape or not. But I also know that Loyola University wanted that entire area for development.

They have less people attending there every year.

markymark on July 7, 2004 at 1:54 pm

I helped clean and polished this theater’s interior in 1980/81 for the North American tour of The Rocky Horror Show. I was a regular of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Biograph Theater when I was asked to usher and hand out programs at The Granada in my costume (Eddie).
It was wonderful,I attended at least 10 performances and even made it on TV for a Fox (channel 32) show with host Mike Liederman. They intrviewed people in costume for the Rocky phenominum. I remember being at the top of the balcony at the Last,higest possible seat and looking down and wondering how anybody could see the screen,not to mention the stage actors! What a beautiful palace it was!

tdemos on July 5, 2004 at 11:55 pm

I was part of the group that put several of Three Stooges Festivals in 1980’s at the Granada. Jonathon Brandmeier was the guest/host DJ at one of these events! These were well attended and supported by the community. They featured some of the stooges more unusual works such as the wartime propaganda parody “I’ll never Heil Again” and the unusually violent “The Stooge to Conga”.

The theatre’s owner at the time was surprised that a money-making operation could actually be taking place at the theatre. The projectionist was an old-timer who had worked the Granada during its heyday and called all of Chicago’s old movie palace’s dinosuars.

All of the projection room equipment at the Granda including the Carbon Arc projectors was intact and in working condition during this period. The theatre itself was in good shape, but one problem we had during the show was that electrical wiring in the alley that supplied the theatre was only adaquate for maintenance needs, not a full blown show at night with all the lights on. No one (not even the owner) told the promoters about this. During one of the first “Stooge Nights”, the wires in the alley started smoking and the Chicago Fire Department and Commonwealth Edison were called for what looked to be an emergency situation.

The promoters feared a riot if the stooges show were cancelled but fortunately, the enterprising Commonwealth Edison Lineman pierced the smoking wire splices with a live bypass jumper. The show went on and the audience never experienced a problem.

A previous poster mentioned no heat in the theatre and this is true. I believe one of these festivals took place during a cold February weekend and the steam heating system of the theatre simply was too antiquated to work. The audience didn’t seem to mind, however.

The Granda Theatre was beautiful and mostly intact during the 1980’s and could possibly have been renovated. However, the owners of the property had other ideas for the property and the neighborhood was just a hangout for the Loyola students and (to some) perhaps did not seem suited to having a landmark status building. What a shame that what once was… is no more.

T Demos

GaryParks on June 17, 2004 at 1:11 pm

I too, will point out that the Granada’s facade provided visual source material for the artist who created the Styx “Paradise Theatre” album cover circa 1980. Indeed, it was this album and its concept and cover art which was the catalyst for turning me into an old theatre architecture fan, though I had always enjoyed visiting older theatres.