Granada Theatre Wilmington

632 N. Avalon Blvd.   | map

Wilmington (Los Angeles), CA   90744

The Granada on Facebook:

The News:  The theatre had a nice story in the Long Beach Press-Telegram in July 2015, "Wilmington wants to bring its vaudevillian theater, the Granada, back to life," that detailed the efforts of realtor Monica Massey to reopen and restore the theatre. The article also appears on the P-T's Daily Breeze site.

Curbed L.A. also had a July 2015 story, "Wilmington's 1926 Vaudeville Theater..." featuring photos by Hunter Kerhart.

The church that was the last tenant has left and it's uncertain what the next chapter will be. If you want it, it's for sale. Contact Monica at (562) 572-3617 or Mike at (562) 346-7459.  There's a listing on Loopnet.

Opened: 1926.  It's listed as the West Coast Granada in the 1926 San Pedro city directory. From 1930 through 1952 it's listed as just the Granada.  Avalon used to be called Canal St. before it got renamed around 1928.

The Arcadia Publishing book "Wilmington" reports that the theatre was financed by C.W. Post, of the Post Cereal family. It was operated by West Coast Theatres, which soon after this theatre's opening became Fox West Coast. The theatre was then advertised as the Fox Granada.

The Granada featured vaudeville as well as films and has a stagehouse with fly capability, dressing rooms and an orchestra pit. The pit is currently covered.

The theatre, while originally Spanish in decorative style, got a deco upgrade in 1937 that included new entrance terrazzo, some deco light fixtures and deco designs on some auditorium side wall panels.

Fox West Coast and its successor companies ran the theatre until the 60s. It was then operated by Metropolitan Theatres as a Mexican language film house, Teatro Granada, until 1992.

Cinema Treasures researcher Joe Vogel found a 1993 Wilmington Historical Society report on the theatre's history based on information from theatre historian Ed Kelsey. It's available as a Los Angeles Public Library PDF.

The report mentions that a "P" (for Mr. Post) still appears in the plaster at the top of the proscenium. Also of interest is the comment that gas was used for the emergency lighting with the gas jets still visible in some exit signs in 1993.

Architect: W. J. McCormack

Seating: 994 is the number from Cinema Treasures. The Wilmington Historical Society estimates 1,100 with about 200 of that being in the balcony.

Status: Until 2013 the building was used as a church. It now has a new owner and its future is uncertain.

More Information:
The Cinema Tour page has a 2002 Bob Meza photo of the Granada. And pay a visit to the Wilmington Granada Friends Facebook page.

See the Cinema Treasures page for a discussion about the Granada and lots of links to exterior photos.  Thanks to Joe Vogel and Ken McIntyre for fine research!
Loopnet has a listing for the theatre.

The Granada's entrance terrazzo,
 dating from a 1937 deco re-do.

photo: Granada Wilmington Friends on Facebook

The stage as seen from the balcony.

photo: Hunter Kerhart - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

[ click on any of these photos to enlarge ]

A fine view of some of the 1937 deco work the theatre
 received to "modernize" its Spanish style interior.

photo: Stephen Russo - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

The vista back toward the booth.

photo: Hunter Kerhart - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

Keep up with Hunter's explorations:
on Facebook | | on Flickr

    Cezar Del Valle - Theatre Talks

A 2002 look at the facade of the Granada
by Betty Sword. It's in the Cezar Del Valle
Theatre Talks collection. 
full size view

Cezar is a Brooklyn-based theatre historian with a
serious interest in Los Angeles Theatres. For more
interesting material, check out his Theatre Talks blog.

    more from Michelle Gerdes on Flickr

An exterior view taken by Michelle in 2010.
full size view

A look down the aisle at the Granada by Michelle.
full size view

A look at the proscenium. Michelle apologizes
 for the fuzziness-- they were trying to kick
her out -- it was still being used as a church.
 full size view

A 2010 terrazzo detail.
 full size view | on FB/LATheatres

Thanks, Michelle!  These photos are part
of the her Theatres - California set on Flickr.

Also in the set:
 | marquee detail |

    L.A. Times    

A 1938 look at the front of the Granada. Thanks to
 Monica Massey who got the clipping from the Wilmington
 Historical Society and posted it on our Facebook
page. The WHS credits it to the Times.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

The caption reads:
"Wilmington Entertainment Center
The entertainment center of Wilmington is the Fox
Granada Theatre where the latest Hollywood productions
are screened for the enjoyment of local residents.

Morse Rabwin, manager, constantly strives to give
Wilmington entertainment seekers better and more attractive
shows. The Fox Granada, located at 632 Avalon Blvd., is truly
the center of  'entertainment deluxe.' The Fox Avalon, located
one block north, is also under the same banner and
brings specialized entertainment."

    Ken McIntyre    

Photos of L.A. on Facebook | Ken on Photobucket

The advertising curtain at the Granada, in a photo from
the 30s. The curtain is still hanging in the theatre.
full size view | on Photobucket

A look at the entrance in 2007.
full size view | on Photobucket

The lobby in 2009.

Ken McIntyre has another 2007 exterior view
on Photos of Los Angeles.  Many more of his
exterior and lobby shots are linked on the
 Cinema Treasures page about the Granada.

The forlorn Granada.

photo: Hunter Kerhart - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

[ click on any of these photos to enlarge ]

The view looking south on Avalon Blvd.

photo: Google Maps - 2011

Click on the photos to enlarge or head
to Google for the interactive version.

The north side of the building from G St.

photo: Google Maps - 2011

A look toward the stage from the
house right organ grille area.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

Thanks, Michelle and Stephen!

These interior views are part of a 28 photo Granada Theatre
set on the LAHTF Facebook page. The organization is
working to find an appropriate buyer for the building.

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation is actively
 involved in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres
in the Los Angeles area. The group frequently supports
events and offers tours of the buildings. | group Facebook page | official FB page

A closer look at a side wall panel.

photo: Michelle Gerdes - Los Angeles
 Historic Theatre Foundation - 2014

See the whole 28 photo Granada Theatre
set on the LAHTF Facebook page.

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    American Classic Images    

A 1983 photo from the American
Classic Images collection.
A daytime shot from 1983.
full size view

    Friends of the Granada    

A newspaper drawing of the new Granada. The caption
was "Theatre To Be Built On Canal Street -- Above is Shown
a Picture of New Picture and Vaudeville Playhouse, To Cost
$80,000, Which Will Be Erected by C.L. Post and
Ground for Which Was Broken Yesterday."
A c.1930 look at the theatre from the Friends of
the Wilmington Granada page. The theatre is running
 "Illusion," a September 1929 release with Charles
Rogers and Nancy Carroll. As the marquee says:
 "All Talking Singing Dancing."
full size view | on the Friends page

A 1958 look at the Granada with a troop of Boy Scouts
 marching in the Wilmington Centennial parade. It's a photo
from the Wilmington Historical Society.

A bit of painted auditorium side
wall detail at the Granada.
full size view


The Loopnet listing for the Granada Theatre
comes with 6 photos of the building. Here we
 get a view of the entrance terrazzo -- and
a peek in toward the snackbar.
 full size view | on Loopnet

The lobby stairs -- and up to the balcony.

 Here we're up in the balcony waiting for
 the show to start. The asking price as of
 September 2014 is $1,495,000.
An organ grille detail.
Across the rear of the main floor.