Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1926 granada theater interior polychromatic cast plaster fragment with volutes
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c. 1926 granada theater interior polychromatic cast plaster fragment with volutes



Chicago Theatres

About This Item

all original and unrestored documented c. 1926 historically-important granada theater cast plaster fragment salvaged from the theater’s lobby shortly before demolition in 1990. the deep relief, polychrome cast plaster fragment features a centrally located urn surrounded by elegant scrollwork and/or volutes. the flush mount plaster fragment was likely fabricated by the decorators’ supply company, chicago, il. the plaster theater fragment is both structurally sound and stable. 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.