The Granada Theatre
Granada Theatre Alliance, Inc
805 Commercial Street
Emporia, Kansas 66801
The historic Granada Theatre was constructed in 1929. The 1400-seat capacity made it one of the larger movie palaces in Kansas. It was dedicated on October 3rd, 1929, with an opening speech by the “Sage of Emporia,” William Allen White. During the early years, the Granada attracted many famous performers and, in addition to screening movies, it was used for everything from beauty contests to traveling vaudeville acts.
Designed by the Boller Brothers of Kansas City, the theatre’s exterior was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, popular during the late 1920’s. The stucco-front façade features intricate terra cotta details, including five clowns which provide a theatrical touch.
Like many grand old movie palaces of its era, the Granada’s popularity waned during the 60’s and 70’s and fell to closure in 1982. In April, 1985, the theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, when demolition threatened the building in 1994, a group of citizens rallied to save the Granada.