316 W. 3rd Street,
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Grand Theatre, Grand Island (Official)
Architects: Larry P. Larsen
Functions: Movies (Second Run)
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: New Grand Theatre
News About This Theater
- Jul 24, 2012 — Grand Theatre’s new facade steps back in time
- Jun 16, 2012 — A theater of restored grandeur
- Aug 10, 2007 — A Grand celebration
- Jul 18, 2006 — Movie Theater Documentary to open in Grand Island(NE)
Built on the site of the Lydia Theatre, which was remodeled as the New Grand Theatre and was due to reopen when it was destroyed by fire on December 8, 1936. (It has its own page on Cinema Treasures)
It was rebuilt and opened May 5, 1937 with Janet Gaynor in “A Star is Born”. Built with stadium style seating (an uncommon luxury for the time), the Grand Theatre had a reputation, at least in the 1980’s, of being absolutely immaculate, even including such non-public areas as the theatre’s basement and boiler room. The man who kept it that way was supposedly named Wally Kemp. The Grand Theatre was closed in 1986 and it was thought that would be the end of its life.
It was rescued by a community group of volunteers, who over the years have restored the building back to its original splendour, especially in their restoration of the splendid Art Deco style façade which had been rendered over.
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