The Granada Theatre, located at 807 Commercial St., celebrated the 5th anniversary of its restoration, reopening and the announcement of its new director, Bryan Williams, with an informal “mingle” open to community members on Tuesday evening. The event featured a slideshow with pictures showing the renovations. Williams was hired as director in July. He was previously the director of the Granada Theater in Kansas City, Kan.
“I was pretty familiar with the Granada from working at the Kansas City one for a few years,” Williams said. “The difference is that the architecture of the Emporia Granada is so detailed compared to the other locations.”
Jennell Tebbetts, who also works to coordinate events at the Granada, said Williams is a “breath of fresh air” and that they are lucky to have him in Emporia.
“I think what Bryan brings to the table is a lot of experience in the exact category and situations that the Granada needs,” said Matt Kosinski, assistant director. “It’s nice that he is good at promotion.”
A series of $5 concerts are coming up next month, and Williams said he wants to try to have 200 college students in attendance.
“I would love to have people look at this like The Bottleneck in Lawrence,” Williams said. “We want to book the kind of bands people will still be talking about 20 years from now. I’ve worked at different theaters, and I ran a movie theater chain for few years, and now I’m working at a theater that I would’ve wanted to hang out at in college. It’s like I’m kind of living vicariously through college students.”
Williams said the Granada will also have more stand-up comedy shows, starting with Mike Smith and his “Black & White Comedy Tour” on Dec. 14.
“I encourage students and community members to suggest bands and acts to book and any other ideas for shows,” Williams said.
At 7 p.m. Oct. 30, the Granada will have an 18-and-older showing of “Friday the 13th 3” in 3D. Williams said the movie will be shown in a live haunted house setting “similar to the haunted houses in the West Bottoms,” with people roaming around the theater and scaring viewers during the show.
“We’re definitely going to make this Halloween event an annual thing,” Williams said.
Williams said he is “pleased with the turnout for Bad Movie Night” and hopes to do more in the future.
“It’s hilarious to see bad movies with current pop culture stuff edited in,” Kosinski said.
Williams said the Granada will soon host a free format radio show on KISS 103.1 every Sunday night. Tebbetts said she is looking forward to bringing in new and different music to Emporia because it won’t be Top 40 music.
“It will allow us to play music that the other Emporia stations won’t play,” Kosinski said. “We’re going to bring more types of music in.”
Kosinski said the radio is show is still in its infancy, but they are already generating ideas for future shows, such as playing “10 Christmas songs that don’t suck for the Christmas show.”
The show premieres Oct. 28.