Best Concert Venue – The Granada

Old movie theater packs in music fans for local and national acts


Jacob Goodwin

The marquee at the Granada shows the lineup of acts for the month. This former movie theater hosts bands from throughout the country. (Photo by Sam Goodwin, The Free Press)

Location 1020 Massachusetts St.
Box Office Hours: 12-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. Saturday
Total votes: 774
Best known for: Affordable tickets to see rock, country and rap artists, among other things.
Year established in Lawrence: 1928

From local to international, bands of all genres have played on the old wooden stage at The Granada.

Built by the Boller Brothers in 1928 as an entertainment hall, The Granada transformed into a movie theater soon after. In 1993, the building was once again renovated to the concert venue it is today.

The venue hosts many big bill musicians such as Marina and the Diamonds, Haim and The Neighbourhood. Typically, these shows are more affordable at The Granada than at Kansas City venues.

“I’ve been to a lot of concerts there and their prices aren’t too expensive,” Lawrence High junior Lydia Caldwell said. “They are just a generally friendly venue. They have a really big variety of bands that play there so that’s good. They cater to basically everyone.”

Several local high school bands have played at the venue. Earlier this year Free State sophomore David Krejci performed at The Granada with his former band, WhereTheWildThingsAre.

“Playing there was exciting for me mainly because it’s a place where a lot of bands that I listen to and that inspire me to play music have played there,” Krejci said. “Playing at The Granada is definitely a different experience than playing at smaller venues like the Jackpot and the Replay.”

The Granada aims to create a safe place for patrons to enjoy live music.

“I think high school-aged students are attracted to The Granada because we pride ourselves on creating an environment where all ages can feel comfortable, safe, and welcome,” Granada marketing director Drew James said. “When I was young and seeing shows in large concert venues, I often felt alienated and somewhat unwelcome, but I feel that we go the extra mile to make people of all ages feel at home at the Granada.”

2nd Place: Liberty Hall – 644 Massachusetts St.

3rd place: Lied Center – 1600 Stewart Drive

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