The Granada Theatre has had a long and storied tenure in La Grande, spanning almost the entire history of cinema. Opened as the Star Theatre in 1917 by Messrs. Meyers and Leiter, the ownership of the theatre and the building housing it changed hands numerous times. In the fall of 1929, the Star Theatre was razed to make way for the construction of a “modern, specifically built theatre.” Records at that time noted the owner to be a 23-year-old man by the name of Francis Greulich. Mr. Greulich had founded La Grande Theatres and in 1928, he acquired what was to be the Granada Theatre. That work was finished in November of 1929, just in time for the showing of what would be the second talking picture to entertain the cinephiles of La Grande. According to accounts from the time, it was done in a Spanish theme with “crimson and gold found in the rich carpeting with comfortable, carefully arranged seats and gorgeous drapes.”
Over the years, the Granada has undergone many upgrades and renovations, but has remained in the hands of the Greulich family. In 1952, the theatre added 800 staggered seats and a 20 x 30- foot veneer plastic screen. In 1953, the family purchased the La Grande Drive-In, which is still now showing a double feature each night in the summer after the sun goes down, one of only three still operational drive-ins in Oregon. Always on the cutting edge, in 1974 the Greulichs completely renovated the theatre, turning it into a 2-screen multiplex. In 1994, another renovation upgraded the Granada to a 3-creen multiplex. New luxury rocker seats were installed in 2010, and the following year saw the deployment of all-digital Christie projectors, new Dolby 750 Surround Sound and Dolby 3D with all of the film projection equipment replaced. Finally, in 2013, the La Grande Drive-In updated to Christie Digital Projection and new audio.
Throughout the years under the Greulich family, starting with Francis and carrying on down through four generations with the operation of La Grande Theatres, has entertained the movie-going public of La Grande for over a century and carry on with that mission in the future.
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