By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A vacant theater in downtown Bluefield was sold at auction Monday to a nonprofit entity that hopes to make it part of the downtown’s revitalization.
The Development Authority of the Greater Bluefield Area, Inc. made the only bid when the former Granada Theater on Commerce Street came up for auction, said Charlie Cole, a member of the development authority. The minimum bid was $70,000.
“The reason that the board purchased the building was to make sure that it is preserved,” Cole said. “We would like to see it preserved and become functional. The authority would like to see it become a functioning part of downtown.”
There was a lien on the property, and the building’s owners were in Grundy, Va. A notice about the upcoming public auction was published twice in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Cole could remember when the Granada was operating as a movie theater.
“It was an awesome theater,” he recalled. “The entire time I was growing up in Bluefield in the ’60s and ’70s, that’s where you went to see a movie. The Colonial was open at that time, but I think they did B movies. I think there were three theaters in Bluefield one time: the Granada, the Colonial, and the State Theater.”
“It’s an incredible facility and it’s still in solid shape,” Cole said.
Restoring the old theater’s interior will require “substantial energy and resources.” The development authority’s board plans to meet with the Bluefield Preservation Society board of directors to explore possibilities for restoring the building, he said.