Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1926 monumental american interior historic granada theater auditorium full-sized cast plaster costumed female statue with original metallic gold finish – edward e. eichenbaum, architect
8194
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c. 1926 monumental american interior historic granada theater auditorium full-sized cast plaster costumed female statue with original metallic gold finish – edward e. eichenbaum, architect

51-17299-13

Category

Chicago Theatres

About This Item

one-of-a-kind all original and largely intact roaring 1920’s american giant-sized reinforced cast plaster costumed female statue salvaged from the auditorium of the historic (non-extant) granada theater or movie palace constructed in 1926. the remarkably detailed and elegantly designed towering statue was likely fabricated by the decorators’ supply co., of chicago, il. the statue’s stoic face is mostly featureless and devoid of human expression. the richly ornamented headdress and robe with deeply grooved wavy lines provide added visual character and distinctiveness. amazingly, the original metallic gold leaf hand-painted finish remains largely intact. the structural integrity of the solidly-built statue is most satisfactory, considering age. there were originally two full-bodied statues flanking the proscenium. this statue is the only known example to have survived. the now-demolished granada theater was constructed in 1926 for the marks brothers (louis and meyer), who at the time were among the major theater operators in chicago. the architect was edward e. eichenbaum (the granada was his first theater design), who was the principal designer for the architectural firm of levy & klein. eichenbaum also designed the marbro, regal, and century theatres. the spnaish baroque style theater was one of the three largest movie theatres ever built in chicago. the theater was notable for its elaborate design (i.e., exterior ornamental terra cotta and glamorous interior plaster work), often cited as the “most ornate in the city.” the granada was considered the “flagship” of the marks brothers movie empire, second only to balaban and katz in both construction and operation of movie places during the “roaring twenties.” the marks brothers operated the theatre until 1934, when balaban and katz purchased the theatre. that firm eventually became abc-great lakes theaters and operated the theatre until 1973. during the mid-1980′s, the theater was used sporadically for rock concerts and played the rocky horror picture show at midnight. despite all attempts to save it, the theatre was purchased by senior life styles corporation, who demolished the building (between 1989-90) for a planned apartment/commercial structure. the new 16 story apartment tower and shopping arcade constructed in the early 1990′s was originally named “granada center”. the center was eventually purchased by loyola university. archival materials, including photographs taken by the “save granada theataer committee” are held by the ryerson & burnham libraries at the art institute of chicago. measures 21 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 87 inches.