1015 Minnesota Avenue,
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Built by the local Boller Brothers firm, opened on May 22, 1929. It was the third (and only remaining) Boller Brothers designed theatre in Kansas City, Kansas. (The others were the Art Theatre of 1920 and the Electric Theatre of 1922).
This Atmospheric style jewel’s exterior is decorated in Spanish Colonial architecture with large arch windows, spiraled columns and smaller windows each with a balcony and awning. The marquee was supported by two terra cotta lion heads. Stepping into the originally 1,217-seat auditorium transports the visitor to a Spanish open-air courtyard complete with statuary, fountains and torch like lighting. The proscenium resembles a bridge from one wall to the other. In its heyday artificial birds traveled on wires and projected clouds moved across the ceiling sky, lit in various hues and complete with tiny twinkling stars.
I remember on a childhood visit to this theatre in the 1980’s the Barton pipe organ that rose slowly from the floor in front of the stage, and the curtains rising to reveal all manner of instruments; bells, whistles and a large gong.
The theatre was open as a first-run house until it closed 1968. The Granada Theatre underwent a restoration in the 1980’s and operated as an art house theatre for a few years but soon closed. During its time as an art house, “The Last Temptation of Christ” played to sold out crowds as it was the only theatre in town to show this controversial film.
In 2004, the Granada Theatre was refurbished and renovated, and reopened as the Screenland Granada Theatre showing first-run, art, and other movies.
Sadly, it appears to have closed again in 2008. It was reopened as a live performance space in November 2010.
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