Granada Theatre

212 N. Michigan Street,
South Bend, IN 46617

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sam siklas
sam siklas on December 12, 2011 at 9:29 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 www.theaterorgans.com 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 ==

figaro14
figaro14 on October 12, 2011 at 8:21 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.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on July 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

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.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on July 8, 2011 at 10:24 am

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”.

Malinda
Malinda on January 21, 2011 at 12:14 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!

TheaterJunkie
TheaterJunkie on September 3, 2010 at 1:48 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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

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

figaro14
figaro14 on August 31, 2009 at 2:27 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.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on January 11, 2009 at 4:52 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!

CharlesLancelot
CharlesLancelot on November 2, 2008 at 4:48 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

CharlesLancelot
CharlesLancelot on July 4, 2008 at 7:23 am

Hi! Thanks for the valuable update! I had just written a LONG response but wasn’t logged in, so it got blown away when I went to submit it. I don’t have the time to re-write it right now, but will over the weekend. Meanwhile, I’ll get to work once again trying to track the instrument down and learn the identity of the mysterious Texan. Please give my best regards to your Dad. I hope to visit his restaurant the next time I am in town (which is pretty often, the last time at my 45th Reunion in June of 2007, but I didn’t know of Cosimo and Suzy’s then!).

crulli
crulli on July 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Charlie, the pipe organ you are referring to was not destroyed; an investor from Texas purchased it some years ago. Cosimo is my father and I spoke to him about it today. He didn’t know the gentleman’s name or his location, but just said that he was an “Investor from Texas.” He thought that he might be from Houston. Apparently he purchased it to be installed in his house. He also purchased some stained glass from the State Theatre.

CharlesLancelot
CharlesLancelot on February 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm

What was the disposition of the 3/17 Wurlitzer pipe organ installed in the theater at its opening? Between 1958 and 1962, I played on that organ every weekend while a student at Notre Dame University. I repaired some failed relay leathers and the old flat leather control circuit generator drive belt from main blower shaft. I last played it during a visit to South Bend in early 1964, 2 years after I had graduated. I understand that no buyers were found for the organ and that it was demolished with the theater. Since I no longer remember exactly when it was built, I cannot find it in random searches of the Wurlitzer opus list for the timeframe of the theater’s opening (1927).

The assistant theater manager at the time was Cosimo Rulli, who was promoted to manager at the Colfax Theater down Michigan Avenue shortly after I graduated. I last saw Cosimo during that 1964 visit, but I understand that he is alive and well, running Cosimo and Suzy’s restaurant in neighboring Mishawaka, IN.

I would love to know what happened to the instrument, and if I find that it was indeed demolished, at last I’ll have some closure on it.

Thanks for any light that you can shed on this. Charlie Lancelot

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2007 at 10:42 am

In this 1932 ad, the theatre is listed as the RKO Granada: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/rkousa.jpg

atmos
atmos on July 5, 2006 at 11:43 pm

Opened 16 Feb 1927

kwilson
kwilson on March 25, 2006 at 11:32 am

Located at 212 N Michigan, directly across from the Morris (Palace), the Granada Theatre was razed in 1972. The entire block in which it was located is now a grassy area with benches for the Morris patrons.