“I was watching the movie on Dec. 7, 1941, when Edna Garrison came to the stage and announced that Pearl Harbor had been attacked,” Dulaney recalled. “The theater was full, just like the picture in the front lobby. They played the national anthem while everyone stood, then we all went home. That’s when things began to change.”
The Dulaneys were joined by many others in the area who had fond memories of the theater.
Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said she remembers when air conditioning was put in at the theater.
“Air conditioning was a big deal at the Granada,” Chesley said. “It was one of the first buildings in the city to have air conditioning. I didn’t have it in the house, so I would go there. They also used to show double features on Saturdays. It was cool.
Bonnie Jerdon remembers special showings of classical movies.
“They showed a series of classics in the early ’70s,” Jerdon said. “They played ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago.’ It was the first time I’d seen ‘Gone With The Wind,’ and it became one of my favorite movies.”
Susan Brookman said she remembers the free movie matinee tickets she received in the summer months and attended the showings every Saturday.
“I also remember one time when my mom walked (my brother and I) to see ‘Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte,’” Brookman said. “We lived about two blocks away, and we were scared to death walking home.”
JoAnn Joy said when she was a freshman in high school she vividly remembers seeing “South Pacific.”
“It was amazing — the music,” Joy said. “It was the first time I was exposed to that kind of music. I also remember the first time I saw a movie here was when I came with my dad. I was preschool age. I saw the first 3D movie. All I remember of it was that it was a jungle movie and the tigers jumped out at you.”