Granada Theatre

212 N. Michigan Street,
South Bend, IN 46617

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Interior of Granada Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Granada Theatre opened in 1927 on Michigan Street in South Bend. The theater was designed by K.M. Vitzhum, who also designed the Lerner Theatre (now the Elco Performing Arts Center) in Elkhart.

Any additional information on the Granada would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

CharlesLancelot on November 2, 2008 at 6:48 am

Hi, Cosimo and family!

This is Charlie Lancelot again, from Notre Dame’s Class of 1962, and the fellow played your Granada Theatre organ while I was a student out there.

I finally tracked the insrument down, and the good news/bad news is that it still exists, but not in its entirety as we knew it back then.

It was originally shipped by Wurlitzer to the Granada on October 14, 1926, so it was installed during the theatre’s construction during 1927. In 1970, two years before the thatre was razed, it was purchased by Dave Junchen, a Wurlitzer organ historian, publisher, collector and rebuilder, who moved the organ to his operation in Sherrard, IN. There, the Granada organ was broken into separate components which were used, believe it or not, by Junchen and his group to assemble the largest Wurlitzer theatre organ ever built – 80 separate sets of pipes (the Granada original had 17) and five keyboards (The Granada original console had three, remember?)

The original Granada 3-keyboard console was not used, of course, and it was sold to a Joe Spur of Chicago. I don’t know when that consle passed from Dave Junchen to Joe Spur, nor do I know what Spur did with it, nor whether he or his estate still have it. I’ll stop searching here as to the console.

Installation of the the monster 5-keyboard organ was completed in the private Sanfillipo mansion in Barrington Hills, IL in 1994, and the dedication concert was given on September 25th, 1994, almost 3 years after Junchen’s death. It is still maintained in perfect condition today, and used regularly for performances in the mansion.

So although the intact organ as you and I knew it is gone, it was not destroyed, and many parts of it’s pipes still play on in the company of the components of other organs in Barrington Hills.

Well, that closes a small but long-open chapter in my life, and on balance I can’t say I’m too disappointed at all!

Best wishes, Charlie

Sontaran6 on January 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

I saw Audie Murphy in the B&W “Red Badge of Courage” here, as an ND undergrad, three or four or five times in succession. I skipped a lot of classes to see the movie. After an interlude in the Air Force, I wound up as a Civil War historian, for almost 30 years. I can’t blame an entire lifetime on my wasted afternoons at the Granada, but they surely contributed!

figaro14 on August 31, 2009 at 5:27 pm

The Granada was my favorite theater in South Bend. Even though looking very worn by the 1960’s, it still had the grandeur of the Spanish courtyard and created a very realistic illusion that one was looking up into the night sky inside the courtyard. At one time, stars twinkled and clouds moved across the ceiling to enhance the illusion. It stood directly across from the Palace (now the Morris Performing Arts Center). I always thought that the South Bend Granada was a mirror to the Chicago Granada, and part of the Balaban & Katz chain and used the same design as the Chicago Granada which was originally designed by Edward Eichenbaum, but the first entry on here appears to contradict this.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Love to have that one-sheet and 8 by 10 color today have idea what a real theatre was.this my friends was a real movie house.

TheaterJunkie on September 3, 2010 at 4:48 am

If anyone is interested there is an old Floyd Patterson fight night ticket stub on ebay that showed at the Granada. Would be pretty cool for someone that went or if you knew someone that went. Take care. Here is the link.
View link

Malinda on January 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Wow, my name is Malinda Williams-Pearman and I have just stumbled onto this web site. I remember Cosimo and the Granada theater very well. My father Jewell Williams considered Cosimo a good friend and was the stage manager there for years, until it was demolished. I would love to get my hands on anything vintage Granada. I still remember getting into the movies for free and taking home those large bags of left-over popcorn when they emptied the popcorn machine at night. Best wishes to Cosimo and family!

Sontaran6 on July 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

The Granada Theatre was located in the parkland situated to the right side of the Google Map picture heading this CT page. The building, formerly at the NE corner of Michigan St. and Colfax Ave., is gone. The (fuzzy) theater in the picture’s left distance is the Morris Arts (ex-Palace). None — none! — of this display’s linked photos show the Granada; for the most part, they show the Morris or the State, other theaters still on South Bend’s Michigan Street. One photo of the Granada’s exterior is linked among the “Comments”.

Sontaran6 on July 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

The Google Map picture has been corrected. The Granada Theatre was located in the park shown. Its marquee and entrance, facing Michigan Street, were situated more-or-less where the prominent row of trees now stand.

figaro14 on October 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

The Granada Theatre was a fine example of atmospheric style movie palace architecture. Even in its later days, the theatre was in fine shape and still created the incredible illusion that one was sitting in a Spanish courtyard in the evening. While the theatre had long stopped using the cloud and star illusions on the sky dome ceiling, it was still a magnificant structure and the fact that it was torn down a terrible historical loss. The marquee and font style of the theater’s name was a smaller duplicate of Chicago’s Granada Theatre. I wish I had taken photographs of the theatre when I worked there. I could never imagine something so beautiful could ever be demolished.

sam siklas
sam siklas on December 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

I was surprised today to find some color interior shots of this theater, taken in 1971. They were made during the removal of the 3 manual WurliTzer. I found them on website. I worked my way through there opus list, the first listing for South Bend is in l921. Once I found that, I clicked on South Bend, and the Granada was shown. Click on Granada (if needed) and you should be able to view these shots. As I said, it was nice to run across these, as interior photos of this this one are hard to find. == Sam ==

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