Granada Theatre

8820 International Boulevard,
Oakland, CA 94603

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GRANADA Theatre, Oakland, california, just before opening.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in November 1924, this East Oakland theatre was remodeled in 1939. It operated through the early-1960’s, was closed and gutted, and was converted into a supermarket.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

William
William on November 13, 2003 at 3:36 pm

The Granada Theatre was located 8820 E. 14th Street, it seated 1495 people.

gsmurph
gsmurph on January 17, 2004 at 5:17 am

The Granada has NOT been demolished; it has long been known as the Food King Market.

gsmurph
gsmurph on April 25, 2004 at 11:30 am

The Granada was built and originally owned by L.J. and J.C. Toffelmier, who were prominent businessmen in the Elmhurst district. Opened November 20, 1924, it originally had a Spanish atmospheric style and was apparently smaller than it later became. It was after the fire that it was enlarged (reopening on October 28, 1939) and became predominately Art Moderne.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 18, 2006 at 1:32 pm

Here is an article from the Oakland Tribune dated 11/16/24:

NEW THEATER AT ELMHURST OPENS NOVEMBER 20

The Granada Theater, a new motion picture palace located in the heart of East Oakland on East Fourteenth street at Eighty-ninth Avenue, will he dedicated by Mayor Davie Thursday evening, November 20, it is announced.

The new theater will be operated by the Golden State Theater and Realty Corporation, of which Robert A. McNeil is president, with which corporation will be associated John Peters, for the last ten years owner of the two smaller theaters now serving this territory
known as the Elmhurst district. L.J. and J. C. Toffelmier, pioneer
business men of Elmurst, are the builders and owners of the theater.

With a seating capacity of 1200 persons, the Granada will be one
of the most comfortable and modern motion picture theaters in the
Eastbay region. It has being planned with the idea in view of providing every convenience for patrons in surroundings that are at
the same time luxurious and beautiful. To gain this end the builders have dealt most lavishly with the interior.

Upon entering the theater through a double row of doors, the
patron will find himself in a broad, heavily carpeted lobby. From the
lobby one ascends to the balcony by stairways at right and left or
may enter the main auditorium through curtain-draped arches. The full dimensions of the auditorium are immediately revealed, as the balcony projects but a short distance over the rear seat sections.
Among the striking details are the lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling. The larger fixtures are seven feet in diameter, provide
a dual colored lighting effect and are of cathedral art glass and mica construction. Another bold feature which strikes the eye at once is the richly ornamented curtain which may be drawn across the screen. In harmony with the Spanish atmosphere of the Granada, a rakish Spanish galleon is emblazoned upon this curtain.

Gay drapes are used throughout, and the painter’s artistic brush has traced delicate murals in the niches behind heroic sized vases set into the side walls. An interesting old coat of arms is used as a decorative design in one part of the lobby. A new plaster treatment in the main auditorium creates a most unusual effect. The main lighting for the auditorium is derived from concealed cornice troughs which permit the light to spread out over the decorated areas of the walls and ceilings in a pleasing manner.

A $25,000 Wurlitzer Hope-Jones organ of the newest type which in
the hands of a skilled organist can mimic the human voice or a full
symphony orchestra, has been installed. The heating and ventilating
systems are of the most approved designs and everything has been installed in the operating room equipment to give a perfectly
projected picture upon the screen. Wicker loge chairs, with overstuffed leather cushions, will provide the utmost comfort.
Topping the building will be a huge electric sign which will be visible for dozens of blocks in every direction.

Three additional neighborhood theaters in Oakland, of a class
similar to the Granada, were announced recently by Mortimer
Thomas, treasurer of the Golden State. One theater of 1500 seats
capacity will be built on East Fourteenth street, near 38th avenue, in the Fruitvale district. Another, also seating 1500 persons, will be built on Park Boulevard at East Eighteenth street in the Lake
Merritt district. The third theater, for 1200 persons, will be located in the Dimond district, East Oakland, at Fruitvale avenue and Hopkins Street.

gsmurph
gsmurph on March 21, 2007 at 12:58 pm

The Granada’s original (pre-fire) architect was Albert W. Cornelius (Jorgensen designed the post-fire remodel/updated version). In its original incarnation, the upper floor (above the entrance, facing East 14th) rooms were known as the Coppey Inn.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 13, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Here is a 1986 photo of theater as supermarket:
http://tinyurl.com/dmlva4

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on September 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

(Oakland Tribune, SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16, 1924)
New Theater at Elmhurst Opens on November 20
Magnificent Granada Theater Has Big Seating Capacity; Unique Features

The Granada Theater, a new motion picture palace located in the heart of East Oakland on East Fourteenth street at Eighty-ninth avenue, will he dedicated by Mayor Davie Thursday evening, November 20, it is announced.
The new theater will be operated by the Golden State Theatre and Realty Corporation, of which Robert A. McNeil is president with which corporation will be associated. John Peters, for the last ten years owner of the two smaller theaters now serving this territory
known as the Elmhurst district. L. J. and J. C. Toffelmier. pioneer
business men of Elmhurst, are the builders and owners of the theater.
With a seating capacity of 1200 persons, the Granada will be one of the most comfortable and modern motion picture theaters in the Eastbay region. It has been planned wiih the idea in view of providing every convenience for patrons in surroundings that are at
the same time luxurious and beautiful. To gain this end the builders have dealt most lavishly with the interior.
Upon entering the theater through a double row of doors, the patron will find himself in a broad, heavily carpeted lobby. From the lobby one ascends to the balcony by stairways at right and left or may enter the main auditorium through curtain-draped arches.
The full dimensions of the auditorium are immediately revealed, as the balcony projects but a short distance over the rear seat sections. Among the striking details are the lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling. The larger fixtures are seven feet in diameter, provide a dual colored lighting effect and are of cathedral art glass and mica construction. Another bold feature which strikes the eye at once is the richly ornamented curtain which may be drawn across the screen. In harmony with the Spanish atmosphere of the Granada, a rakish Spanish galleon is emblazoned upon this curtain.
Gay drapes are used throughout, and the painter’s artistic brush has traced delicate murals in the niches behind herioc-sized vases set into the side walls.
An interesting old coat of arms is used as a decorative design in
one part of the lobby. A new plaster treatment in the main auditorium
creates a most unusual effect. The main lighting for the auditorium is derived from concealed cornice troughs which permit the light to spread out over the decorated areas of the walls and ceiling in a pleasing manner.
A $26,000 Wurlitzer Hope-Jones organ of the newest type which in the hands of a skilled organist can mimic the human voice or a full
symphony orchestra, has been installed. The heating and ventilating
systems are of the most approved designs and everything has been installed in the operating room equipment to give a perfectly
projected picture upon the screen.
Wicker love chairs, with overstuffed leather cushions, will provide
the utmost comfort.
Topping the building will be a huge electric sign which will be visible for dozens of blocks in every direction.
The Granada Theater forms the nucleus for a new business center
in Klmhurst. it is believed by the men who have made their investment
at this location, it is geographically about midway between the terminals of the new street paving recently authorized for East Fourteenth street from Melrose to San Leandro, a distance of about five miles. For this purpose the city of Oakland and Alameda county have appropriated $300,0OO.
Besides the mayor, Commissioner Frank Colbourn and other city officials will participate in Thursday night’s dedication of the
new Granada. An elaborate program of motion pictures, music and other numbers is being prepared for the opening night’s two performances.

Many Other Eastbay Theaters Operated; More to Be Built by Company,
The opening of the Granada theater in the Elmhurst district
Thursday night, November 20, will add a new link to a huge chain of
more than fifty affiliated theaters in California.
The Granada, under direction of the Golden State Theater and
Realty corporation, will be in the hands of the men who with associated corporations also operate the State, Broadway, Varsity,
Rialto, Lincoln, Palace, Fremont, Casino, Fruitvale and two Alameda
theaters.
Three additional neighborhood theaters in Oakland, of a class similar to the Granada, were announced recently by Mortimer Thomas, treasurer of the Golden State. One theater of 1500 seats capacity will be built on East Fourteenth street, near 38th avenue, in
the Fruitvale district. Another, also seating 1500 persons, will be
built on Park Boulevard at East Eighteenth street in the Lake
Merritt district. The third theater, for 1200 persons, will be located in the Diamond district, East Oakland, at Fruitvale avenue and Hopkins street.
In San Francisco, Robert A. McNeil, president of the Golden State
Theater and Realty corporation, and associates has just bought four
neighborhood theaters comprising the group serving the North Beach
part of the city. A magnificent new theater in the Sunset district
will be commenced by the same corporation January 1.
John Peters, owner for ten years of the two theaters in the vicinity
of the Granada, has an interest in the new theater, wherein he will
preside as manager. The Granada will add new responsibilities
for Charles H. Moser, district manager for the Eastbay theaters of the Golden State Theater and Realty corporation, main offices of which are at 150 Leavenworth street, San Francisco.

(Opening program: “The Border Legion” with Antonio Moreno; Larry Semon in “Kid Speed”; “Felix the Cat”; and “News Weekly”. Baby Boynton, child organist, playted the Granada organ.)

mrutherfo
mrutherfo on December 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

The last weekend of the Granada'a existence as a theater was in the early 60s. The movies that Saturday were monster movies for the kids. I attended the day showing, I could tell things were getting pretty bad. That night a riot broke out in the theater and they ruined the screen and ransacked the theater as I’ve heard. The riot continued on east 14th where windows were broken and people beat up. The manager hid in his office during the event. The building reopened soon thereafter as a grocery store. We all missed the Granada after that. It was a kids haven during the weekends.

celaniasdawn
celaniasdawn on March 22, 2011 at 1:33 am

The Granada was a nice theater, but it was in a “getting rough” neighborhood. It was so pretty inside, it was kind of like going to the Fruitvale, but the Granada was more lavish I thought, because of those beautiful lights on the ceiling, and the thick carpeting in the lobby, you could feel your feet sinking in. One letter on the roof sign was burnt out on the side facing San Leandro and it said GRA ADA. My mom would say sometimes “Lets go to the graada tonight”. The last time we ever went there was so see a movie called Kronos. It was about this black box that came out of the ocean, growing legs, and walking around zapping all the electricity off the earth. We were sitting upstairs, and a massive fight broke out on the floor below, newspapers reporting later that it was because of a racial remark of the color of the box. Everyone got up and went to the edge to look down and see, and there was popcorn flying everywhere, obscene language, fist fighting, lots of women screaming. People were just scrambling to get out of the way. Then these guys went close to the stage and threw their drinks on the screen. It was like within seconds, the lights came on and the police came. I was terrified.

oaklandgal1957
oaklandgal1957 on July 8, 2014 at 1:29 am

I grew up 2 blocks down from the theater, on 88th Ave. The Granada theater was the best place to spend time on Saturdays. The place was stunning and the people who worked there were very nice to us kids and it only cost 25c. I met a very special person there and we would often sit next to each other and enjoy the great movies, serials, cartoons, etc. I attended the theater in my early teens and was there almost weekly until trouble came in 1959. I was not there the day of the riot, but I was so sadden by the theater’s closure. I moved away after high school and only went to the (now)Food King a couple of times for my Mom. It so sadden me to see this theater come to such a sad end. My best to Howard M. Morgan, who was a regular smiling face and thoughtful friend. I have never forgotten you! Donna

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