5011 California Avenue SW,
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Previously operated by: Far West Theatres Inc., Sterling Theaters, Inc., Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc.
Architects: G.C. Field, Benjamin Marcus Priteca
Styles: Atmospheric, Spanish Moorish
Previous Names: Egyptian Theatre
Opened as the Granada Theatre on July 23, 1926 with Reginald Denny in “Coming Home”. It had 1,000-seats set in a Spanish Atmospheric style auditorium. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual, 7 ranks theatre organ which was opened by organist Nellie Dean Mitchell. In 1927 it was taken over by Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc. who operated it until July 1930 when it was taken over by the local Far West Theatres of Seattle. The organ was removed in 1939. It operated as the Egyptian Theatre for a while and in the early-1940’s and it was taken over by Sterling Theatres. By 1941 it had again been renamed Granada Theatre. It was closed as a movie theatre in February 1959. It was then used unsuccessfully as a live theatre, then presented special events.
In June 1963 the Granada Organ Loft Club installed a Wurlitzer 4 manual 32 Ranks organ which had come from the Liberty Theatre, Portland. Silent movies were screened for a number of years. Sterling Theatres installed a new wide-screen and sound equipment and played 2nd run movies to supplement to silent movie evenings. In February 1977, Sterling Theatres sold the theatre and it was immediately demolished. The site became a Denny’s restaurant. This has been demolished and apartments now stand on the site.
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Recent comments (view all 11 comments)
This sprightly little house enjoyed its sunset years as ‘The Granada Organ Loft’. Silent pictures, both well known and obscure, were screened here, accompanied by live pipe organ playing. My childhood recollections are dim about the place, but I remember my family and I went only once. Can’t recall the picture, but the pipe organ was especially fine. In special passages of organ pieces, a delightful ‘special effects’ box would open above the procenium, revealing an ingenious and endearing display of mechanical tambourines and other percussion instruments, which of course made a big hit with the audience. Its innocence and charm are long gone.
Most certainly the organ was preserved, but I have no idea where or how. I believe the ‘Seattle Times’ ran a few stories on the Granada’s demise (early 1970s?).
Here is a detailed history of the Granada …
It says a Denny’s restaurant now sits on the site.
Katie, A Sambo’s restaurant(remember them?) opened after the Granada was demolished in the mid 70’s, and then it became a Denny’s. A condo complex now resides on the site.
There is a 1946 photo of the theater on this site. Enter theaters as a search term and browse the photos:
According to the Web site ken mc has listed above:
“The Granada Theatre on California Avenue in West Seattle was built in 1927. It had 746 seats, a balcony crying room, and a separate smoking room. The building was designed by architect G.C. Field and renovated by B.M. Priteca.”
Maybe that’s supposed to be M.B. Priteca?
No that’s correct…but better known as B. Marcus Priteca. He was the favored architect of most, if not all, of Alexander Pantages theatres.
Gosh, my error. I always think his name is Marcus B. Priteca. I should know better!
Here is the photo:
http://wsh.stparchive.com/Archive/WSH/WSH07221926P06.php This link implies the interior of the theatre was designed or executed by “E.C. Weissenborn,” but I believe that would be “A. Weissenborn,” who ran the Weissenborn Decorating Company. Does anyone have any information on that firm?
The question is: Was the Granada an atmospheric theatre? The news item on the PSTOS site says it had an “effects machine.” That would imply atmospheric.