Backstage Stories

100th Birthday Celebration

April 13, 2024

100th Birthday Celebration

granada exterior day tower

The Granada’s 100th Birthday Celebration

This weekend, The Granada Theatre celebrates 100 years of bringing the performing arts and entertainment to the Santa Barbara community.  The Granada Centennial Festival Weekend celebrates the historic theater’s past, present, and future with a variety of programs on April 12-14, 2024.

“By spotlighting the theater’s past, present, and future, we wanted to showcase how the theater has taken measures to be at the forefront of technological advancements and innovations to not only preserve its presence as a historical icon but to show to our community and performers that as we always have and will continue to provide amazing programming,” said Palmer Jackson Jr., Chairman of the board of The Granada Theatre.

The Past: Movie Magic

Granada Warner Movie Palace

The party kicks off on Friday paying homage to the Granada’s history as the city’s premiere movie house from the era of silent movies to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The double feature on April 12 features two historic films originally shown at the Granada at the time of their release.

The program opens with the most popular silent film, Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. with the live musical score performed by award-winning composer Michael Mortilla.

Contrary to their name, silent films were never silent. They always had live music performed in conjunction with the showing, mainly to cover the noise from the projector.

The second showing is of the iconic Star Wars: A New Hope, the original film of the series by Santa Barbara resident George Lucas.

All tickets are $19.24 in honor of the theater’s opening year.

The Present: Music Melodies

 granada Exterior crowd

On Saturday, the Granada celebrates music in all its forms with the unique Pacific Jazz Orchestra.

The 40-piece orchestra is led by seven-time Grammy-nominated conductor Chris Walden, who has been the lead arranger at the Academy Awards® and has conducted the LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and more. Joining the orchestra are music superstars Katherine McPhee (American Idol), renowned Jazz singer-songwriter Billy Valentine, song stylist Sheléa, and singer-songwriter Adam “Aejaye” Jackson.

Tickets are $20.24 to reflect the theme and represent the present day.

The Future: Tomorrow’s Talent Today


The Granada closes its Centennial Festival on Sunday with a focus on homegrown and future talent. The evening will be emceed by Emmy award winner and TV-radio reporter, John Palminteri.

Three local, solo performers, Hunter Hawkins, Jackson Gillies and Rachel La Commare, will light up the stage before the Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, and Santa Barbara High Schools showcase performances from their spring musicals. The Dos Pueblos High School students will perform the music of Anything Goes, San Marcos High School students will showcase Singin’ in the Rain, and Santa Barbara High School students will feature A Chorus Line.

 After the show, the celebration spills out onto State Street for The Granada Centennial Festival Block Party featuring live music.

Tickets are $21.24 to reflect the theater’s future.

“We’re looking forward to bringing great centennial programming to celebrate with the community and performers who have continuously supported The Granada Theatre throughout the century,” said Caren Rager, Chrisman Executive Director and President of The Granada Theatre. “We have exciting Centennial programming planned throughout the year, and intend to continue celebrating our theater’s centennial year.”