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The Granada Theatre celebrates 100 years in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – From silent classics that first illuminated the silver screen to Golden Age masterpieces that captivated audiences, The Granada Theatre has been an important stage for the arts and entertainment scene in Santa Barbara since opening its doors nearly 100 years ago in 1924.

In honor of its centennial celebration, the theater is putting together The Granada Centennial Festival Weekend celebrating The Granada’s historic past, its vibrant present, and the exciting future on April 12-14, 2024.

The Granada Theatre opened in 1924 and was bought in 1930 by Warner Bros. to serve as a movie palace hosting exclusive screenings of cinematic classics like “Gone With the Wind” and “Guys and Dolls.”

Reviving that movie palace atmosphere, on Friday, April 12, 2024, the theater is rolling out the red carpet for a cinematic voyage screening two historic films that were originally presented at The GranadaTheatre.

Act 1 will be the screening of Sherlock Jr., first presented at the Granada on June1,1924.

An American silent comedy, the film was directed by and stars Buster Keaton.

In 1991, the Library of Congress chose Sherlock Jr. for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, recognizing it as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

"Accompanying the silent film on the piano will be award-winning composer and musician Michael Mortilla.

Mortilla has accompanied silent films for many years and has received commissions from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Chicago Symphony, and the Library of Congress, among others.

Act 2 will be the screening ofStar Wars: A New Hope, which was first presented at the Granada on September 16,1977, and did a 15-week run at the theater.

This American epic space opera film was written and directed by George Lucas.

It was the first film released in the Star Wars film series and the fourth chronological chapter of the Skywalker Saga.

It received numerous awards at the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Saturn Awards, among others.

The Title Sponsor for Friday Night of Festival Weekend is The John C. Mithun Foundation and Susan Torrey and Mercedes Millington.

The weekend's anniversary celebrations will continue with a current-day star headlining Saturday night and Sunday night will be all about the future of the theater, highlighting performances by young Santa Barbara artists.

Details for the Saturday and Sunday performances are yet to be announced.

Pricing will also reflect the same past/present/future theme, with Friday’s historic screenings priced at $19.24 in honor of the theater’s opening year.

Saturday night “present day” performance tickets will be $20.24, and Sunday night “future talent” tickets will be $21.24.

To purchase tickets for Friday night’s double feature, please visit:

For more information on the theater, please visit

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle
Granada theatre
Santa Barbara

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Patricia Martellotti

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