Building 51 | Building 51 | rare c. 1920’s richly ornate spanish revival style interior granada theater “telephone” illuminated sign with etched glass inset – edward e. eichenbaum, architect
9217
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rare c. 1920’s richly ornate spanish revival style interior granada theater “telephone” illuminated sign with etched glass inset – edward e. eichenbaum, architect

51-13840-12

Category

Chicago Theatres

About This Item

exceptionally rare and highly sought after c. 1926 american made interior “telephone” illuminated sign salvaged from the granada theater shortly before demolition. the customized spanish revival style solid bronze sign is attributed to the chicago stage lighting co., chicago, il. the heavy bronze metal sign retains the original amber colored textured (i.e., hammered) glass inset with lightly etched lettering and surrounding fanciful border. remarkably, the original finish remains intact. the non-extant granada theatre 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.