AKA: Granada Theater, Bakersfield, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Eissler, William, Building Contractor (firm); Symmes and Cullimore, Architects (firm); Clarence C. Cullimore Sr. (architect); William Eissler (building contractor); Edwin Joseph Symmes (architect)

Dates: constructed 1928-1929

view all images ( of 3 shown)

618 Kentucky Street
East Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA 93305

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map


The Granada Theatre in Bakersfield, CA, operated at this location from 1929 until about 2019. The building underwent a drastic tranformation c. 1950 that greatly altered its original Spanish-Moorish design.

Building History

Local property owner Henry Harrison Brown (1860-1939) commissioned the Bakersfield architects Symmes and Cullimore to design the Granada Theatre in 1927. Born in Osgood, IN, Brown came to Bakersfield from Kansas in 1891, and became a landowner in 1907, purchasing a 29-acre agricultural tract on which he raised poultry called the "Locust Farm." Four years later, He built the Brown Block, a three-story apartment and retail building at the intersection of Baker and Kentucky Streets, very close to where he would erect the Granada Theatre in 1928-1929. Brown also built at least six residences in the East Bakersfield neighborhood. (See Wallace M. Morgan, "H.H, Brown," History of Kern County, California, [Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1914] p. 1205.)

In early 01/1922, Brown and his wife, Emily Hamilton Brown (1859-1940), requested a US passport in order to make a year-long trip abroad to the British Isles, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Portugal, Gibraltar and Spain. It is likely that he toured various Moorish sites in Spain, such as the Alhambra Palace, and became interested in them during this excursion. A few years after his return, he may have directed Symmes and Cullimore to study these designs and provide him a faithful reproduction for his new movie theatre. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1813; Volume #: Roll 1813 - Certificates: 111226-111599, 14 Jan 1922-16 Jan 1922, accessed 07/19/2021.)

Edwin Symmes (1883-1935) and Clarence Cullimore, Sr., (1885-1963), worked together for a relatively brief period, as Symmes died prematurely at 52.

Brown employed William Eissler (1876-1944) to build the theatre, which cost approximately $75,000 to erect. Eissler, like Brown, had been born in Indiana.

He initially rented the facility to Paul Davini (1889-1980). Born in Italy, Paul Davini came to Bakersfield in about 1906, where he worked as a laborer on the Lakeside Ranch. He then transitioned to employment in the Southern Pacific Railroad's large train repair and maintenance operations in the city. Over time, Davini saved his wages and was able to become the lessee of the Rialto Theatre in town by 1915, and continued to manage it in 1929. (See Find a Grave.com, "Paul Davini," accessed 07/19/2021 and Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1929, p. 131.)

Paul Davini continued to manage the Granada Theatre in 1934, but was no longer connected to it in 1935. It is possible that either his lease expired by that time, or, perhaps more likely, the Depression forced him to leave the position. (In 1935, G.W. Page was the Granada's Manager. See Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1935, p. 172.)

From 1936 until at least 1982, Richard F. Lemucchi was the theatre's manager. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1936, p. 188 and Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1986, p. 352.) Between 1967 and 1982, at least, Lemucchi was assisted by Roy J. Lemucchi. (See Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1967, p. 230 and Bakersfield, California, City Directory, 1986, p. 352.) By the 1950s, the Granada routinely showed Spanish-language films.

According to the Cinema Treasures.org web site, the theatre closed in 2019, and was retrofitted to become a funeral home. It was vacant in 2021. (See Cinema Treasures.org, "Granada Theatre," accessed 07/19/2021.)

Building Notes

At its opening, the Granada Theatre could accommodate 754 customers.


The Granada Theatre underwent a modernization in about 1950 which covered over the original Moorish-Spanish Colonial Revival tiled arches of the facade.

The interior was gutted in about 2019 to enable a funeral home to use the facility.

PCAD id: 21097