Granada Theatre

21 Pleasant Street,
Malden, MA 02148

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

joel49
joel49 on December 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I went to my first horror movie (“Frankenstein”) around 1957 at the Capitol Theater in Suffolk Square, Malden. I was about eight years old. I had nightmares for days, but I was back again for the next Saturday matinee (“The Giant Tarantula” – nightmares again). They would start the show with a couple of serials (“Flash Gordon” and “Rocketman” e.g.) and follow that up with a horror flick. I loved it.

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm

From 1960 a photo postcard view of Pleasant Street along with the Granada Theatre in Malden.

longtassle
longtassle on October 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

That was such a great pic. i moved near the high school from linden in the summer of 80 and started working at granada right after….but i barely remember those stores at all. wow. and i don’t remember the windows up above the marquee. i guess i never looked up, i was 11 after all.

rosens
rosens on December 12, 2008 at 7:53 pm

I am willing to upload postcards to a photo-sharing site, but only to one that does not share my address with advertisers that send unsolicited e-mails. I don’t mind if they put links or ads on the photo page, but no unsolicited e-mails!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Best thing to do is upload them to a photo-sharing site such as Flickr, ImageShack, or PhotoBucket, then post a link to them here.

rosens
rosens on December 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Sure: Where do I send them. The “add a photo” link won’t take anything. For some of the cards I looked up the dates in historic newspaper microfilms, matching the films on the marquee.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Can you scan them in and upload them?

rosens
rosens on December 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I have picture postcards showing the Granada, 1930’s, 1941, 1956; the Mystic, 1921, 1941, 1946; the Orphuem 1920s?; the Auditorium, 1915. I saw films at these theaters plus the Strand in the 40’s and 50’s

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on June 15, 2008 at 10:04 am

The architectural historian, Douglass Shand Tucci, in his noted book about Boston-area architecture “Built in Boston, City and Suburb”, mistakenly refers on page 216 to the Granada in Malden as the “Alhambra” Theatre.

parktheatre
parktheatre on April 12, 2007 at 9:21 am

I was an usher at the Granada in the early-mid 70’s. The ushers or the manager controlled the downstairs house lights (dimmer switch was on the wall just outside the auditorium). The beautifully lit curtains downstairs were gold and were the type that rise to open. The manager at the time was a Miss Buttrick. The Pleasant Street long lobby was absent all of those video games and pinball machines that were later added under new ownership in the 1980’s.

longtassle
longtassle on November 13, 2006 at 6:47 am

It was a 99 cent theater when i worked there. The sign said 1 cent donation as well. lol. There were 3 theaters. I’m sure I inadvertantly ran it into the ground a little by selling both halves of the ripped ticket every now and than and keeping a buck. I was 12 after all and that was too tempting. My life of crime pretty much ended there so I guess I’m not that horrible of a person.

longtassle
longtassle on November 13, 2006 at 6:38 am

I also sold papers at the little island on the inlet of pleasant street. It had that old wooden shack on it. You’d think I was talking about the 50’s or something. lol. This was the early 80’s. And I worked in the videa game room at the Granada bowling lanes. Boy I had some sweet jobe for a preteen. There was a chinese food restaurant that opened right next door to the theater and I became friends with the kid who’s parent owned it. Eddie Yu was his name. I dated his sister Anna for a short spell. Memory lane here…..

longtassle
longtassle on November 13, 2006 at 6:31 am

I’m 37 and lived in Malden in the Linden area until 1980 and moved to a street behind the library. I worked in the Granada theater from about 1980ish to….? don’t remember. Maybe a year or two. The owner’s name was Roland something or other.

I was too young to work but at that time we somehow made friends with the people working there and they got to know my family. Not the tightest ship at that time I’m sure you’d expect. We’d hang out there after hours and play indoor soccer matches up in the hall outside theater 1 upstairs.

My brothers being older and more daring used the tunnnels under there that ran throughout parts of malden square to “explore” the area. They have some stories and clearer memories I’m sure. I really do remember pretty clearly how the interior and a lot of the office area and storeage areas looked though.

Interesting fact, as you faced the concession counter if you looked to your right there were a bank of exit doors. Above them high on the wall were a shield and swords (it was a spansh baroque style theater after all). I think one of my brothers “liberated” them when things went south.

I had those on my bedroom wall into the mid nineties. I wonder what happened to them after that (i had stupidly painted them too). I’m sure there not somewhere in my moms house anymore but i’d like to think they are. Maybe I took them to my first apartment and then got rid of them. I don’t remember but I sure do regret losing track of them.

samuel
samuel on April 18, 2006 at 2:46 pm

Really enjoyed jtomasellos history of Malden Theatres…Just one additional note. Malden had still another theatre. The MAPLEWOOD located in Maplewood Square.. A bank now occupies that site. All the Malden theatres except the Capitol in Suffolk Square were owned and operated by Middlesex Amusements….

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 11, 2006 at 8:50 am

Reading the above, I have to wonder where the people of Malden go for entertainment now. Not only are there no movie theatres at all remaining in Malden, there are also none in any of the surrounding towns. (Stoneham’s has been restored as a live stage; otherwise, all are gone now.)

tomasej
tomasej on April 11, 2006 at 8:46 am

A footnote: I just saw the map which purports to show where the Granada stood. Actually, that would be the location of the Orpheum Theater at the junction of Pleasant, Main and Salem Streets. This at one time was my favorite theater (as a child) since it generally showed a double feature (some new, some old) with previews, cartoons,news, the whole works for a children’s price of 12 cents plus penny candy; if you remember that, you’re at least as old as I!

tomasej
tomasej on April 11, 2006 at 8:36 am

This website is fascinating overall, and I truly enjoyed (with much sadness and nostalgia thrown in)this segment on the Granada Theater and those who contributed to it. The last two postings are particularly good; the projectionist gives a clear, precise rendering of what was going on. I left Malden and came to Washington, D.C. in 1957, but returned briefly in 1965 when I saw several movies (Failsafe, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, et al)when the theater was still a single screen. According to reports from those who saw films there after, another screen was added as the projectionist so ably points out, and then a third. Without a doubt, it was the finest theater in Malden; the others: the Orpheum, around the corner and across from the Public Library which played
the films just shown at the Granada at a “nice” price; the Mystic further up Pleasant Street which also showed second run films as well as older classics; ditto for the Auditorium a bit further up the street; and on the other side even further up, the Strand which usually showed first-run films which the Granada probably didn’t want since they usually were not the “mega hits” (my opinon). I didn’t know there was another theater (the Capitol, very tiny) in Suffolk Square until we moved across town to that area. As small and as old and smelly as it was, it still installed a wide CinemaScope screen albeit marred by a dent which occurred when unpacking it! Mr. Salters' posting is extremely informative, and as for his question, No, there was no atmospheric sky ceiling. If there had been, it would have been one more reason for me to gaze around this beautiful theater instead of watching the film, especially when it was shown on the big, wide screen with stereophonic sound. The boxy marquee Ron mentions was replaced in the mid fifties by a two-sided one with white background and black letters. About that time, also, the theater stopped using custom-made movie posters with 3-dimensional gold glitter letters in favor of the “standard” posters we’re all familiar with. This theater was particularly impressive if one entered from the small side-street box office which led to the front side of the balcony section. From there, one could see the full house, orchestra, balcony and all the people engaged in watching a film. Good old days? Why not!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 11, 2006 at 7:08 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Granada on Pleasant St. in Malden has a facade photo taken in April 1941. The entrance had a big boxy multi-bulbed marquee with “Granada” in huge letters on its front. The Report states that the theatre had been showing MGM product for over 10 years, that it was over 15 years old; that it was in Good condition, and had seating of: main floor: 1402, Balcony: 829; total seats: 2231. The population of Malden in 1940 was 58,000. There are MGM Reports for 5 other theatres in Malden in 1941: Mystic, Auditorium, Capitol, Orpheum and Strand. Does anyone know if the Grenada was a true “atmospheric” design with a sky ceiling to go with its Spanish Baroque design? Atmospheric theatres were very few in the Greater Boston area.

mediaace
mediaace on February 21, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Having been a projectionist at the Granada, I can tell you that it was a single screen “movie palace” until 1965, when it was closed for renovations and the house was split. A new screen was installed at the foot of what had been the balcony, projected from the original booth. At that time, the Century 35mm projectors were outfitted with 4-track magnetic stereo heads. The new screen had three Altec A-7s behind it, with eight surround speakers around the rest of the house.
The original house had a new booth built under the balcony, outfitted with new Century 35mm/70mm projectors and arc lamphouses. The projectors could run optical mono, 4-track 35mm magnetic or 6-track 70mm prints. There were 5 Altec A-7s behind the screen and 8 surround speakers throughout the house. When the lower house was split at the beginning of the 1980s, the 35mm/70mm projectors were sold to pay for the renovations.

samuel
samuel on January 15, 2006 at 6:02 pm

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AlanF
AlanF on August 12, 2005 at 5:35 am

A couple of quick updates on theaters mentioned above: The North Reading Cinemas started life as the “New Meadows Cinemas.” It had two screens. It later became the “North Reading Cinema.” Starting with the two screens it had, it later added a third one upstairs in an existing store room. It was called “The Screening Room.” It has long since closed, but the building still exists as office space called “North Park”.

The Surf in Swampscott is gone, replaced with condos.

The West Peabody Cinemas began as the “Jerry Lewis Theaters.” The owners had big plans for it, and had hoped Jerry himself would come to the opening. He did not. It was part of a chain, advertised as one in which “a husband and wife could run the entire operation.” The building later became the Jewish Community Center, and still later was leveled and is now part of the parking lot of the ajacent strip mall.

br91975
br91975 on June 13, 2005 at 9:28 am

Thanks for the remembrances, babyg525, Kimee, and Scott. Can one of you confirm what presently occupies the land where the Granada once stood? The research I’ve done indicates that it at least in part serves as the home for some (if not all) of the Malden Public Schools administrative offices, but what I’ve found seems somewhat inconclusive. I trust what Ian wrote in his initial description above, but I seem to remember that the Granada building was gutted for the aforementioned offices; maybe what I remember from that afternoon at the library two years ago and what the reality is are two different things…

scottm
scottm on May 6, 2005 at 8:17 pm

My mistake. It is Granada Theatre.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 6, 2005 at 8:06 pm

Scott, are you saying that the Granada was also called the Grande?

Kimee, the Wollaston Theatre did indeed have Tuesday dollar nights, but it have been closed for the past couple of years due to the extremely poor condition of the building. I wish a historical society would take it over, but I’ve not hear of any such plans.