Granada Theatre

21 Pleasant Street,
Malden, MA 02148

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Showing 26 - 38 of 38 comments

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 6, 2005 at 8:06 pm

Scott, are you saying that the Granada was also called the Grande?

Kimee, the Wollaston Theatre did indeed have Tuesday dollar nights, but it have been closed for the past couple of years due to the extremely poor condition of the building. I wish a historical society would take it over, but I’ve not hear of any such plans.

kimeepower on May 6, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Wollaston Theater in Quincy, MA looks just like the old Granada Theater. On Tuesdays they even have 1 dollar admission. I think it is taken over by the historical society so it won’t be destroyed.

I was in 4th grade when it closed down. I remember walking to the square with a bunch of friends to go drool over Matthew Broderick in Biloxi Blues, but the theater was closed. Just like that. No one told us that it was going to be closed. It was just that sudden. Then it was a trek on the bus to Revere or on the train to Somerville. Ahhh, those where the days.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 30, 2005 at 12:31 pm

The Granada Theatre opened in 1929 and had a seating capacity of 2,239. It first closed in 1976 as a single screen cinema and was put up for sale. Obviously the new owners converted it into a triplex.

babyg525 on February 16, 2005 at 12:20 am

I saw “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Risky Business” at the Granada, I was about 14 or 15 at the time. I remember the lobby being fairly small and the walls lined with arcade games like Pac Man and pinball machines. When I saw “Fast Times”, there were a few kids rollerskating up and down the isles in the cinema itself, nobody stopped them! It was all kids for customers and the place showed it. There was bubble gum stuck to things, sticky floors and someone did something to some of the toilet seats in the ladies room, the seats would not stay down, as soon as you put the seat down it sprang right back up again.

In regards the the Kings Plaza in West Peabody, was that the drive-in that played X rated films? I have heard stories about a drive-in that showed X films from some of the people at my job (non-theater/movies) but I can’t remember the name. Currently I’m on a lay-off (go back 3/1) and will ask about it then.

br91975 on January 11, 2005 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for posting that information, Ron – and thank you for giving the time it took to post it. I’ll do whatever research I can from here in NYC (i.e., Google), then hopefully have a morning or afternoon to spare in one of the Boston or Cambridge Public Library branches when I’m next in the area. Again, thank you…

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 10, 2005 at 8:05 pm

The other theatres listed in that article (with their current status):

Wellesley Community Playhouse (closed)

Fresh Pond Cinema I & II, Cambridge (later closed for years, then rebuilt and reopened as first-run Entertainment Cinemas 1-10, now Loews Fresh Pond)

North Reading Cinemas 1-2-3 (no idea)

Dedham Cinema 1 & 2 (this is probably the current Dedham Community Theatre)

Somerville Theater (still gloriously open, now with 5 screens)

Regent Cinema, Arlington (still open, but now primarily as a live stage)

Captiol Theater, Arlington (still open, now with 6 screens)

Medford Square 1-2-3 (sadly closed and demolished)

King’s Plaza, West Peabody (no idea)

Loring Hall, Hingham (still open)

Cameo Theater, South Weymouth (still open)

Studio Cinema, Belmont (still open)

Brookline Cinema (closed)

Warwick Cinema 1&2, Marblehead (closed)

Westgate Mall, Brockton (no idea)

Cabot Street Cinema, Beverly (still open)

Satuit Playhouse, Scituate (demolished, but replaced last year by the new Mill Wharf Cinemas 1&2 at the same location)

Strand Theater, Ipswich (no idea)

Surf 1&2, Swampscott (no idea)

Milton Cinema (closed)

Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge (now a 5-screen Loews first-run)

West Newton Cinemas (still open)

Randolph Cinemas 1&2 (no idea; probably replaced by or expanded into the current Randolph Showcase megaplex)

Pembroke Cinemas 1&2 (no idea)

Allston Cinemas (closed and demolished)

Queen Anne Cinema, Norwell (no idea)

br91975 on January 10, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Do you still have access to that article, Ron? What were the other theatres listed?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 10, 2005 at 11:47 am

A Boston Globe survey of sub-run theatres, published on September 16, 1982, said that the Granada was a 99-cent theatre at the time. This was the lowest admission price of all the houses listed.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 10, 2005 at 11:42 am

From the Boston Globe archives, December 7, 1980:

Youths throwing rocks and bottles injured three policemen and damaged theaters in Malden and Danvers last night at midnight showings of “The Song Remains the Same,” a movie featuring the rock group Led Zeppelin.

At the Granada Theater in Malden, youths caused some $5000 damage as they slashed theater seats and the movie screen and tore radiators out of the floor. Police Sgt. John McCallan said: “They just went wacky. They wanted to raise some hell, and they sure did.”

Malden Police called in help from the Metropolitan Police, Medford, Melrose, Everett and State Police departments to empty the theater and break up the groups of roving youngsters. Four of the theatergoers were arrested on charges including being idle and disorderly and assault and battery on a police officer.

Earlier Friday, it was announced that the Led Zeppelin band was breaking up because of the death of the group’s drummer, John Bonham. Sgt. McCallan said it was unclear whether the news had prompted the rioting, but pointed out that similar disturbances have erupted in other towns which have held midnight showings of rock movies.

br91975 on January 9, 2005 at 9:53 am

Thanks for that info, Ron. I live in New York but I head back to Boston every few months to visit family who still live in the area. When I have time during one of those trips home, I’ll stop by one of the local libraries and see what I can find.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 9, 2005 at 9:37 am

That was the Park Theatre in Everett. I never got there before it closed. In its last years someone tried to revive it as a live stage, but I don’t know how long that lasted, or whether the building is still standing today.

If you live in the Boston area, you should be able to get to a library that has the Boston Globe on microfilm, and just pick some random Friday or Saturday with lots of movie ads.

br91975 on January 9, 2005 at 9:33 am

Doing some research at the local library a couple of years ago on the former Cinema 1 & 2 in Medford Square, I came across some articles about and photographs of the Granada. After the fire Ian mentioned in his initial description, the entrance was cinderblocked. The theatre was a knock-out – the auditorium, the lobby… stunning design within both; its closing and subsequent demolition totaled a true loss. Presently the space is occupied by in some, or perhaps total, portion by offices, all or at least part of are associated with the Malden Public Schools.

There was also – don’t remember the name of it – a movie theatre in Everett which operated at least into the late ‘70s, and perhaps most likely into the early '80s. Does anyone remember the name of it or have any info as to what became of the building which housed it? (What I wouldn’t give to get my hands on one of those ads which used to run in The Boston Globe through the early '80s and, once a film entered second-run, listed alphabetically – by city and town, I think – in list format, as opposed to the more common block listings, the theatres where that particular film was then showing in. Most of them were community theatres and I’d love to do the research and find out what became of the ones which closed… which, of course, would be most of them… )

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 8, 2005 at 8:31 pm

What is now on this site?

It’s sad to see how many Boston-area suburban towns are now entirely without movie theatres. Waltham, Lexington, Belmont, Arlington, and (of course) Somerville should consider themselves damn lucky.