Granada Buick Cascada

Raffle tickets for the 2018 Buick Cascada convertible, pictured here in front of the Granada Theater, are almost gone, according to Julie Hurley, vice president of the Bluefield Preservation Society.

BLUEFIELD — Tickets will soon be gone for the chance to win a 2018 Buick Cascada convertible.

A fundraiser for the Granada Theater restoration project, the Cascada was donated by Cole Chevy and only 1,000 tickets will be sold for the raffle.

Julie Hurley, vice president of the Bluefield Preservation Society (BPS) which is spearheading the $2.5 million project, said tickets will be sold through Aug. 31 and the drawing held at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 during the Blues Festival on Commerce Street.

“You do not need to be present to win,” she said. “Tickets are going fast and only a limited number of days are left to get yours.”

Hurley said only 1,000 tickets were printed and are sold for $100 each.

But that $100,000 will bring $400,000 with a Shott Foundation match, which was announced in May, with the foundation providing a three to one match for all money raised this year for the project.

With those funds as well as more already raised and tax credits for historical structures, Hurley said the project is full steam ahead.

Proceeds from the raffle is a major part of that.

An easy way to purchase a ticket is to go online to bluefieldgranada.com and hit “buy now,” using a credit/debit card or PayPal.

“You will automatically be registered and I will mail you a ticket stub,” she said.

Grant’s Supermarkets is also offering a deal for tickets.

The first 200 customers purchasing at least $300 worth of groceries (either at one time or in multiple visits) starting Aug. 6 through Aug. 31 will be given a raffle ticket.

Customers must have receipts as proof of purchase.

“Grant’s Supermarkets’ support of the community is unprecedented,” she said. “They come through at every turn.”

Tickets can also be purchased this Sunday, Aug. 11, at Sam’s Club between 12 noon and 4 p.m. when the car, valued at $37,500, will be on display there, or call the BPS at 304-589-0239.

Hurley said the ticket sales cutoff is Aug. 31 (the day of the Lemonade Festival) because auditors who oversee the raffle need one week to certify before the drawing.

“The restoration of the Granada has already begun,” she said. “We plan to have it finished in December 2020.”

Hurley said It is vital not to lose part of the city’s history and culture, and the historic theater, which was built in 1926, is a part of that history and countless people have memories of going there.

The Granada is the only theater in Bluefield left standing.

Initial work will include some demolition, including the floor, asbestos abatement and infrastructure (HVAC, lighting, sprinkler system), but the “bones” of the theater will be preserved, Hurley said.

In fact, the theater will be restored to its original 1920s Spanish-Moorish decor.

“It was redecorated in the 1940s in art deco,” she said, which is what most people will remember. “But in order to qualify for federal and state historic tax credits you have to put it back about the way it was originally.”

The color scheme will be the “rich and opulent” red and gold popular during that era (1920s), she added.

When finished, the theater will have a second floor for dining (dinner theater) and will be able to seat a total of about 700, with almost 500 seats on the main level.

Hurley said not only with the theater show movies, which include second-run, classics, foreign, documentaries and silent films, it will also be a venue for music, comedy and theater.

The digital visual and sound equipment for films and the sound system for performances will be “state of the art,” she added.

A big addition will also be the original organ that was in the theater. It is a Wurlitzer Style EX, Opus 1790, theater organ that left the area years ago but was donated back in 2015 and will be reassembled.

“We are just so appreciative of the community’s support for this project,” she said. “We are overwhelmed and humbled and can’t wait for the Granada to open and once again show great movies and help provide a great downtown Bluefield.”

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com