Dallas Morning News – Guidelive: Cool Tunes
September 8, 2011
The Granada helps you play it cool as the long, hot summer winds down.
With summer on its way out, the Dallas-Fort Worth area finds itself just waiting for another break in the 100-and-whatever weather. Even the nights are still plenty hot. There’s no better way, in my opinion, to spend the rest of the summer than listening to songs that are particularly suited to the season, preferably inside. If you’re looking for local flavor and atmosphere, look no farther than the Granada Theater. Owner Mike Schoder has installed an entirely new air-conditioning system to make your night out as cool as the music the venue provides. Check out our playlist made up of songs from scheduled bands to get you through the dregs of summer:
Bowling for Soup
“S-S-S-Saturday”: This song from the CD Fishin’ for Woos is a much better ode to a day than say, Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” The fun-loving Denton band will have you humming this one each time Saturday comes around or at least chanting along with the refrain at the show.
“Beautiful Day”: The title song from his 2009 album is reminiscent of Mellencamp back when he was John “Cougar.” Not even close to the bombast of most songs celebrating the beauty of a day, the Texan’s stripped-down tune puts you in a cruising frame of mind. If you didn’t know, it’d be hard to believe that the CD was about his divorce.
“Everybody Needs Love”: I’ve always loved this band’s name; that’s reason enough sometimes for me to pick up a CD for my collection. This song is reason enough to go see the group live.
“Swinging From the Chandeliers”: With lyrics such as “we got hog wild/sideways,” this song is a celebration of that night where you just remember bits and pieces. It would have fit right in on the soundtrack for The Hangover. Just like those guys, Creager has no regrets.
Average White Band
“Pick Up the Pieces”: Old-school soul-funk-rock from an old-school crew: You’ve heard the horns in this song from 1974 a million times, in a million movies. I’ve always loved how the 70s were this great time when mostly instrumental tracks got just as much radio play as anything else. You will “pick up the pieces” and dance. Believe that.
Grubbing at Granada Theater
September 8, 2011
The Dallas Socials
August 30, 2011
When you think of the Granada Theater, what do think of? Let me guess, fun venue and awesome shows. You’re absolutely right but you’re missing one key item; food.
I had a great opportunity to taste a lot of items on their menu. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. Here is a recap:
The Black Angus BBQ Sandwich was my favorite out of all the food I tried. It literally melted in my mouth. Their homemade brisket is slow roasted in Shiner and herbs for 12 hours and topped with their legendary BBQ-chipotle sauce on top of a toasted bun. This is a MUST try!
If you’re like me, I’m addicted to mexican food so it made me so happy to see black bean nachos on the menu. These nachos had creamy queso, fire-roasted salsa, savory black beans and all the “fixins.” You can enjoy these with or without meat and customize them to your preference. I tried them with no meat and had no complaints, I would suggest you do the same.
Yes, another mexican item – I was in heaven! These “Granada” tacos were to die for. The ingredients included pulled chicken, diced pineapple, queso fresco and sriracha. To be completely honest, I wasn’t that enthused about trying these. I’m not a pineapple person, and the idea of mixing them with chicken on a taco didn’t sound appetizing. I was proven wrong, the diced pineapple and sriracha mixed strangely well together.
Is your mouth watering yet? The Granada has two different pizzas to try – Margarita and Buffalo. Both are delicious, I prefer the Buffalo Pizza (pictured) which has a blend of hot sauce and ranch topped with spicy fried chicken, mozzarella, red onions and scallions.
Scoobie Snack! This isn’t your average cookie, it tastes like a mix between a cookie and cake. It’s thick and has the texture of cake but tastes like a cookie. There were lots of chocolate and M&M’s to go around. This should be shared with a friend unless you have a big sweet tooth.
Chef Patrick Stark is the man behind all the menu and culinary changes at The Granada. Chef Stark “always recommends the blackboard special. It’s something fun and playful. One thing we always have is the Pineapple Express. It’s a taco with pineapple, queso fresco and sriracha sauce. You can get black beans, chipotle-roasted chicken or Shiner-braised brisket in it.”
Next time you stop in for a show at the Granada be sure to grub out and give their food a try.
Granada Theater is located at 3524 Greenville Avenue, Dallas 75206.
Thrillcall Featured Venue Profile: Granada Theater (Dallas, TX)
September 8, 2011
Thrillcall Venue Profile:
By: Courtnee Rizzo
Built in 1946, the historic venue known as Granada Theater located in Dallas, Texas opened during the Golden Age of Hollywood as a 700-seat first run movie house, showing Oscar nominated performances such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (‘58), Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday (‘53) and My Fair Lady (‘64).
“All that changed in 1977, when United Artists sub-leased the theater to John Carruth, a guitar shop owner who turned the theater into a music hall. Carruth extended the stage and added lighting and sound systems. Storerooms behind the screens changed into dressing rooms. The concession stand now served drinks and the Crying Room turned into a private party zone. Muddy Waters, Kenny Rogers and the Allman Brothers were among the headliners at that time” (granadatheater.com).
Now, after several more reincarnations over the decades, the Granada Theater serves as a beacon to the best in indie, jazz, country and alternative music in Dallas. The venue has partnered with Thrillcall on fantastic ticket giveaways to fans, featuring artists like Portugal the Man, Brett Dennen, and Eisley. Be sure to follow both @granadatheater and @thrillcall to be the first to know about these ticket giveaways.
The Granada Theater always has fantastic upcoming shows, so check out their venue page for more information on upcoming shows and tours and to buy tickets directly. Click the track their future shows button for updates when your favorite artists are heading for that venue. Thrillcall is personally most excited about The Granada’s mini music festival Gorilla vs. Bear on July 23, with featured artists like Grimes, White Denim, Preteen Zenith, Shabazz Palaces, Julianna Barwick, Pure X, Sunset, Dreamed and more…
Local Music ‘Mericans: Mike Schoder Has Been Responsible For Bringing A Lot of Great Music, Both Live and On Record, To Town For Years.
April 1, 2011
Welcome to Local Music ‘Mericans, where we meet some of the people behind the local music scene — those who aren’t necessarily members of local bands, but more the people who make the scene move.
Back in 2004, Mike Schoder took over ownership of Greenville Avenue’s Granada Theater. But, unlike a lot of venues that have changed hands in this town, Schoder didn’t just just start taking over the cash register. He literally transformed the Granada from a just-OK, sorely under-air-conditioned spot to his own real visionary music destination — complete with expressive, passion-filled print advertising, oversized-portion pizza slices, and screens full of music, video and information to soak in before the curtains draw back.
Before that, though, in 1992, after spending his younger years selling CDs out of the back of his car, Schoder opened CD World, also on Greenville. Later, he opened an auxiliary branch of it on Belt Line Road in Addison.
Changing time times saw them both shuttered in 2008, but Schoder has soldiered on, fully investing his time these days in his work at the Granada.
Yeah, he’s known for a few things in Dallas music. But, mainly, he’s just one of the biggest music fans this town has ever seen — so much so that he made it his life’s work.
After the jump, he shares his amazing recipe for organic pick-me-up tea, and helps us get to know him a little bit better.
I’m excited to hear about the early event(s) in your life that affected you to the point where music basically became your life and your focus.
Church and AM radio in the late ’70s, of course. But seeing the last Texass Jam at the Cotton Bowl in 1987 — with Aerosmith, Boston, Tesla, Poison and Whitesnake — couldn’t have been cooler. By the way, we just booked Whitesnake for May 22 at the Wildflower Festival in Richardson. Can’t believe it’s really been almost 25 years.
How easy, or hard, was it to start up a record store? Did you start by just dumping in your own personal collection as starter inventory?
I started with my own 250 CDs, selling out of the back of my ’87 Toyota Supra at Park Lane and Greenville Avenue. Just on the street, every day, in the summer. I bought more CDs for $3 to $4 at pawn shops and sold them for $7. By the end of summer, I had 1,200 CDs, two tables and my two finger-painted “CDs…$6.99″ signs in the hatchback. I sold about 100 a day. The original location at Greenville and Mockingbird was 782 square feet and cost $1,100 a month to rent.
What do you miss the most about your stores?
The customers were so cool. It was fun learning from them every day for 16 years. I liked how everyone waited for your turn to put a CD in the store player, seeing if you could sell it.
Was there ever a live-performance element at CD world? It seems like it’s so right up your alley. If not, why not?
Every inch was packed with CDs! I wish we had a cool stage like the one at Good Records. We managed few, though, like The Gourds, Ian Moore and David Garza.
Tell us about that first list you started formulating in your head the first time you walked into the Granada space, with the intention of making it your baby.
It was no big list of things! All I knew at that time was that I wanted to make it comfortable and friendly, like the resort setting I grew up in.
Obviously your Granada staff have a great creative braintrust, and thought-chemistry going — hence all the fun and innovative elements for the music lover inside the theater. Tell us about the process the you and the staff go through, from translating a good idea into a part of the program.
The eight-person staff during the day does booking, artist relations and promotions. We do promo meetings to brainstorm, but leave a lot of creative space for all. Everyone there is an incredible artist with a strong vision for creating a perfect rock n roll vacation for the people of Dallas.
What’s the trick to remaining such a people person, and running such a personable style of business, but at the same time, being so overwhelmingly busy with the technical logistics of it all, too? It seems like most businesses lose that the moment things start to get hectic.
I know that I can’t ever lose sight of the fact that the music fans give me the ability to book and produce live music. Hearing appreciation could never get old, and that is what you get as an artist or a behind-the-scenes person. They say “Thanks! This is awesome!” And you say it back. It’s a conversation I will never get tired of having.
Asking you for a live music performance that stands out in your head is probably too tough a question. How about the best local music show in recent memory?
This St. Patty’s day, for one. The Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights show was just a sonic explosion of ’70s guitar. It’s hard to believe these guys are still conjuring more raw power live. And remembering the Polyphonic Spree covering Nirvana’s “Lithium” and the entire sold-out crowd bouncing to the beat and screaming every word still causes me to feel weightless.
What do you see in the future for new music in the area?
I’m working on opening a smaller venue by end of this year. Beyond that, it’s just continuing to urge people to see a band they have not seen before –.that’s a ton of the magic of live music. Just like going to see a new movie.
Please share you and your significant other Julia’s amazing tea recipe with everyone. You know the one.
Mate’ Tea! It has a natural caffeine equivalent. It has a nice slow ride with no highs and lows like in coffee. We add 1/16 teaspoon of cayenne, 1/2 an organic lemon, and 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar. It’s based on the recipe of the master cleanse. I do one every morning, for sure. Have four, and you will fly.
For fun, how about the most pain-in-the-ass national touring act to come through in recent memory?
No way. The glass is always half full. If you give kindness and do your best, you can even win over Peter Murphy.
Art&Seek Q&A: Mike Schoder
February 28, 2011
This article originally ran here: http://artandseek.net/2009/03/19/artseek-qa-mike-shoder/
Stephen Becker | March 19, 2009 7:01 AM
In the past 15 years, Mike Schoder estimates that he’s seen more than 8,000 band performances. Many of them have been inside the Granada Theater, which he has owned and operated for the past five years. From selling CDs to booking shows, music has been at the center of Schoder’s life ever since he moved to Dallas from Minnesota for college. He discussed the reasons that music is so important to him during a recent interview inside the Granada for this week’s Art&Seek Q&A.
Art&Seek: A lot of bands will be passing through town on their way to and from South by Southwest. Is anyone coming through that you are particularly excited about?
Mike Schoder: We have The Egg and 2020Soundsystem (Thursday night), which are two electronic acts from London. They’re not DJs, they’re actually bands in the realm of Groove Armada, New Order, so it kinda meets from the jam band world over to electronica. And it’s actually going to be a free show.
A&S: You also booked acts for this year’s Wildflower Festival? What was your philosophy for deciding who you wanted to play?
M.S.: It’s a collaborative between myself and Geoff Fairchild, who’s the managing director, and the city manager [Bill Kefler], who was a college DJ. They really love the heritage acts from the 70s and 80s, and they’re not as interested in throwing a new-music festival. They want it to be a celebration of music that you know and love. And so I work with them on figuring out which artists are available. We put our heads together, and ultimately the decision is dictated by the city. … It’s so cheap. There’s no way you could see any one of those artists out there for the price of buying all three day’s admission.
A&S: What do you see as your role in fostering the local music scene?
M.S.: We’re not so interested in just bringing in the top pop stars. We want to bring in artists who are forging new ground and really doing something that’s exciting. Not just another band playing that sounds like every other band. People understand when they come here that they’re coming to a place that’s run by a bunch of music fans, and they’re kind of trusting out opinion. … It’s sort of like if your mom was a good cook. You never worried about coming home for Sunday dinner, because you knew whatever she was going to prepare was going to be top notch.
A&S: At this point, you’ve seen hundreds of shows in this building. If you could pick one to go back and attend again, which would it be?
M.S.: Well, this New Year’s Eve with Josh Weathers Band and Jonathan Tyler was really amazing. I think they’re the two hottest artists out of Dallas/Fort Worth. We had such a blast because the place was so electric that night. And every time the Polyphonic Spree plays here, the electricity and energy that’s evoked by Tim DeLaughter – the way he just propagates joy and smiles and happiness. I know I’d get bored if they played here every night, but it would probably take a really long time for that to sink in.
A&S: Do you remember the first big concert you went to?
M.S.: Yeah, it was the Texas Jam at the Cotton Bowl – Boston and Aerosmith and Tesla and Poison. That was in ‘87 I think, and it was pretty wild. I went by myself, because I couldn’t find anybody to go with me. When I came down to Dallas first off, I came to go to school at Christ for the Nations Institute in Oak Cliff. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t find anybody to go with me – nobody at bible school wanted to go see Aerosmith.
A&S: You’ve had such an interesting career, from selling CDs on the side of the road to owning two CD World stores to running the Granada. Have you figured out exactly why music is so special to you that you’ve built your life around it?
M.S.: It makes people smile. It makes people feel at ease. And so I think that’s why a lot of people integrate it into their lives – because it brings them peace and it brings them happiness. So why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that? I know it’s definitely brought those two attributes to myself. I’ve just been really blessed that it’s worked.
The Art&Seek Q&A is a weekly discussion with a person involved in the arts in North Texas. Check back next Thursday for another installment.
Granada Theater in Dallas a reminder of necessity of art
August 12, 2010
Places like The Granada serve as a community garden for this raw, inspiring, beautiful, noisy, hard-hitting, melodic, touching, hypnotic, soulful art form.
I keep going back to a couple sentences Mike Schoder, owner of the Granada Theater, said in the sixth anniversary press release: “We have arrived, this is it. This time is perfect in this community for us to support artists and to be artists.” Having gone to a hoighty-toighty school for art, having a book collection comprised mostly of hardback picture books three times the size of my face, having cried the first time I stood before Eva Hesse’s Repetition Nineteen III at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, you would think Schoder’s statement is part of my daily mantra. But instead, Schoder’s words rang as a wake up call for me.
While I revere art (and when I say art I refer to music as well) as a cornerstone of culture, within the past couple of years, I’ve allowed myself, unintentionally, to think of art more as a luxury and less of a necessity, both in my own personal practice and as a part of society. I’ve grown partial to responding, “Easier said than done” when people ask why I’m not doing it, as in being an artist, through and through. I suppose it’s a byproduct of our economic state and the general state of the world. How could I make art or music, a life’s practice that some may say is a selfish one, while Pakistanis search for loved ones, friends, strangers in the aftermath of a torrential monsoon, the death toll in China rapidly rises as the result of massive mudslides, an Iranian mother of two faces the death penalty for alleged adultery, the gulf and its living inhabitants are doused in oil … and on and on, tragedy as far as the eyes can read in any news forum.
I haven’t really gotten to the point where I figure out how one feels OK with such headlines if you’re not aiding those in need, but I have decided that art nourishes some part of me that becomes depleted daily with so much world-wide sadness. And no, by saying this I don’t mean tit for tat. I mean art, for me at least, is like love, a happiness that has no language or identity. Adding that kind of energy to the world by no means takes away from the grief, but it does something. You can feel it. And thank god there are individuals like Mike Schoder who recognize this essence unabashedly and create a local venue, a stage for someone to share that magnetism.
Places like The Granada serve as a community garden for this raw, inspiring, beautiful, noisy, hard-hitting, melodic, touching, hypnotic, soulful art form. And Schoder is right. This is it! Asking where the world would be without artists is like pondering the sudden extinction of bees.
As I sat in the most amazing balcony seat last night in our very own historic and gorgeous Granada Theater, listening to Doug Martsch, lead singer of Built To Spill, sing at the top of his lungs as if it were the last time he would be able to sing, the core of my being was touched. So cheesy, I know, but that’s how I felt and that’s what great music, great art does to you. While, yes, it is impossible to not feel a collective sorrow and guilt for everything bad that happens in the world, more often than not to people that don’t deserve it, at the same time there is so much to celebrate in the world, much of it in our own community.
Is the Granada Theater only six years old?
August 8, 2010
The Granada has been around forever, so it’s odd to think that it’s having a sixth anniversary celebration. But that’s just what’s happening on Wednesday. It’s the sixth anniversary of the Granada Theater under the ownership of Mike Schoder. (Reservations are required for the VIP party).
Here’s a writeup about the 60-year history of the theater from an SMU student last winter. I love the reference to the Granada being on the outskirts of Dallas — guess it might feel that way if SMU is the center of your world.
Go to the jump for more.
From the Granada:
Anyone who has driven on Lower Greenville can’t help but notice the sleek, vintage Granada Theater marquee touting upcoming concerts. After almost 65 years of creating Dallas history, including movie premiers and legendary music performances, the Granada Theater is now celebrating its 6th year operating under the ownership of Mike Schoder. Avid music lover and local scene supporter, he opened the doors to Granada on August 18, 2004. Six years later, his dedication to live music and customer service has established Granada as a live music venue and event space with a lot to celebrate.For the 4th year in a row, the Granada Theater was awarded “Best Live Music Venue” and 3rd year as “Best Local Booking” by the Dallas Observer. These awards are received truly from the Dallas community, since venues are nominated by music industry professionals and voted for by music lovers. One visit to see a concert at Granada will convince you that it’s “the place” you want to see your favorite musicians play.
Inside the Granada, concert goers are greeted by the “Serenity” staff and treated to a “musical resort” type experience. Schoder’s stepfather was in the resort business and he uses that experience to create a music venue which completely caters to its customers.
The 42 employees that run the theater are all artists. They are all living out the dream, involved in creating an amazing place for the people of Dallas to take a rock ‘n’ roll vacation.
Schoder says “Life is all about education. Let’s all share what we’ve learned with each other. Love, health and music comprise the core of our existence. Knowing this and sharing our discoveries with each other increases our ability to enjoy the ride of life. We have arrived, this is it. This time is perfect in this community for us to support artists and to be artists. Love music, love life.”
Dallas theater in business for more than 60 years
February 18, 2010
In face of hard times, the Granada Theater is still bringing in audiences due to cheap tickets
By Laura Cook, SMU Daily
Today’s generation is accustomed to capacious music venues; bland arenas, where people seated even 20 rows back would be better off watching the concert at home on TV.
The Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift generation experiences a commercialized version of music, where intimacy and distinctiveness fall by the wayside.
While places like the American Airlines Center are thriving, more local, independently owned venues are still determined to offer the intimate personal music experience that people seem to be forgetting exists.
On the outskirts of Dallas, lies one of the few independent music venues left in the Dallas area: the Granada Theater.
For more than 60 years, the Granada has focused on providing audiences with memorable music events.
Mike Schoder, the theater’s owner for the last five years, continues to add personal touches to Granada, making the theater a unique and special place to hear all types of music.
The Granada Theater opened in 1946 as a movie theater on the happening Greenville Avenue.
In the late 60s and early 70s, the Granada housed many notorious pornographic films, later becoming a dinner and movie theater.
In 1992, the Granada established itself as a music venue.
Over the last 17 years, the Granada has been passed between several owners.
Before Schoder stepped in, the theater was owned by Snuffer’s restaurant, located directly next door on Greenville.
Since Schoder has owned Granada, the theater successfully brings in avid music fans that appreciate the work the Granada staff have put in to make the venue a personal and friendly place.
Schoder has always had an interest in music; in the 1990s he opened CD World on Greenville, later opening another in Addison.
He is all about being familiar with music, showing people new music to discover.
Schoder says that when costumers came in, he furthered their knowledge about different bands, saying “oh you like this? Well here – you have to try this.”
In 2000, CD World’s success started to deplete. Schoder blames the revolution of iPods and mix-tapes for the drop.
In 2004, he decided to try out music venues. Thus, the New Age at Granada began.
The Granada holds 1000 people standing, and 650 when chairs are set up.
“The sleepy people sit in chairs placed on the sides, while the energy is in the middle in front of the stage,” Schoder says.
The theater houses five to seven concerts a month with three to four private parties as well.
Schoder recently put in a $250,000 sound system, along with two huge projector screens, so bands can have cool graphics while performing.
Regardless of the up-to-date mechanics, the Granada’s original décor is still intact.
The wall panels from 1946 are still intact, providing a distinctive authenticity to the venue.
There are four subheadings on the walls, two on each side.
One says, “Fantasy,” in gold script, with a drawing of an astronaut. Another panel says, “Adventure.”
Schoder also likes to mix in his own personal touches with the historic furnishings.
Hanging above the stage is a handmade banner that says, “Love Yourself.” Even the bouncers wear jackets that on the back say “Serenity.”
At a glance, the word looks like “Security.” Schoder believes these special little touches allow him to have a voice, creating a “realm of comfort and care.”
“We are just trying to exercise reminders that the Granada is a resort, a rock n’ roll resort,” Schoder says.
These peaceful touches provide Zen and relaxation to a theater whose energy come concert time is nothing but.
The Granada’s mission statement is “fun.” The way to achieve this is through kindness and honesty.
The theater thrives on a sense of community. There are 20 employees at the Granada, and they consider themselves a family.
Before each show, the Granada team shares a meal with the band.
“We start preparing for a show around noon, and by nighttime, if the crew is working on an empty stomach, they cannot perform as well, so we feed them. The mind and body need sustenance,” Schoder says.
Even in these hard economic times, the Granada continues bringing in audiences, mostly because the tickets are a lot cheaper than those sold from big arenas and franchise theaters like The House of Blues.
The fall of Deep Ellum is also considered a reason why people have flocked to Greenville Avenue.
Schoder agrees that Deep Ellum turned into a scary place, saying, “When people start singing from an angry place, the surrounding area becomes angry.”
Schoder also attributes the Granada’s popularity to the large SMU student following.
SMU is located minutes away, and brings in students all the time. The theater has developed a large dependence on the university.
When electronic group Ratatat preformed last spring, tickets were sold out four days before the concert, and 90 percent were purchased by SMU students.
“It was unbelievable,” Schoder says.
SMU held a Battle of the Bands on the front lawn last semester, and the winning band gets to open for a band at Granada.
Keeping the connection between SMU and the Granada is very important to Schoder.
The Granada also makes use of the growing obsession of online social networks to spread their popularity.
The theater has an active Facebook fan page and a Twitter account to help reach out to the public.
At 1 p.m. before a concert, both pages show the line up to get the fans pumped for the concert.
The Granada Website has a live radio that plays music from upcoming bands so listeners can get a heads up on what music they can expect to hear.
Setting itself apart from places like American Airlines Center, which hosts mainstream pop music, Granada tries to expose new cutting edge bands that will both sell tickets and help the band’s fan base.
While some feel the Golden Age of music is long gone, Schoder insists that is not true.
“There is so much more music being made and waiting to be discovered,” Schoder says.
The 60s were a time of rock, the 70s were a time for disco, the 80s were a decade of garage metal, the 90s launched alternative rock, and the the 21st century is a kaleidoscope of genres.
Electronic, Hip Hop, Blues, Pop, Rock, and Country are all styles that continue to grow in popularity.
Even though pop icons continue to grace T.V screens and commercial venues, the underground music scene is growing just as rapidly.
Granada will continue to be a catalyst for lesser -known bands, providing an intimate venue for audiences to truly have a connection with the band and the music.
“Granada is just like a family resort, with a large band in the corner,” Schoder says.
A Concerted Effort
July 18, 2008
By KATELYN SMITHERMAN / The Dallas Morning News
The Granada Theater just might be the perfect concert venue.
Some nightspots are too loud or too smoky. Others are too cramped.
But the Granada, on Greenville Avenue, features a relaxed, intimate atmosphere where teens and grandparents alike can enjoy a show. The smoke-free theater hosts both adult and all-ages shows.
I attended last week’s Unlimited Enthusiasm Tour show with Harry and the Potters, Math the Band, Uncle Monsterface and Fishboy. From start to finish, the process was simple.
The Web site could use a more traditional calendar to make things a little easier, but that’s a minor quibble. The slightly confusing calendar lists each show and labels the all-ages nights. When you’re ready to buy tickets, which rarely exceed $30, you can see how many are left in each section and choose the exact seat. Visitors can also listen to songs of upcoming artists, get quick information about each one and watch videos of past and future performers.
When we arrived, the staff and security were accommodating, unlike at some venues where guests are treated as an annoyance. Security personnel weren’t wearing the usual black T-shirts with “security” in yellow letters. Instead, they wore shirts that read “serenity” with “be kind” underneath. It was a nice touch.
Rather than hiding out backstage, the bands were up front handing out name tags and temporary tattoos and talking to fans. Once the show started, the energy level was high.
The Granada’s full bar and kitchen offered everything from hamburgers to quesadillas (which we tried: they weren’t bad). But if nothing on the menu strikes your fancy, Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse is just across the street, and Cafe Express, one of my favorites, is just down the road at Mockingbird Station.
What surprised me most was the audience age range. I sat in front of a 16-year-old there with his grandmother. Behind me in line was a woman with, I can only assume, her elementary-school-age daughter. It was cool to see everyone there having fun, no matter who they were with or when they were born.
For two tickets, parking and dinner, the night cost $55. Of course, that figure increases a little when you tack on a T-shirt, a CD and gas.Pulling it
The Granada Theater is at 3524 Greenville Ave. 214-824-9933. www.granadatheater.com. Here are some upcoming highlights:
HIEROGLYPHICS Tonight at 9. $15.
MAX STALLING Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7. $12 to $20.
HED P.E. July 27 at 8 p.m. $15 and $20.
TONY JOE WHITE Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. $25.
BIG DADDY KANE and others Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. $15 and $25.
NEBULA Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. $12 and $15.
THE HONORARY TITLE, THE NEW FRONTIERS Aug. 10 at 8. $12 and $15.
GORGEOUS FRANKENSTEIN Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. $20 and $25.
RAY WYLIE HUBBARD Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. $12 to $25.
FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. $15 to $35.
Q&A: Mike Schoder
March 1, 2008
Opening a CD World store in 1992 at Mockingbird and Greenville was the beginning of MIKE SCHODER’s music experience in Dallas. It eventually led to his gamble on the Granada Theater as a live music venue, which paid off. The film reel goddess on the ceiling of the 1947 movie house must be smiling down on him.
So what’s the appeal of the Granada?
A lot of clubs are arms-folded, don’t-cross-the-line, not-so-friendly environments. You’ve got these angry people running music venues. That’s one of the main places where we differ. My goal [at the Granada] is to create a music resort. My stepfather was in the resort business, and that’s how I got my start in the customer service, resort arena. I totally look at what I’m doing now as an extension of that. Why not go see music in a place where there are comfortable chairs and tables for the shows? If the band is big, then it will be all standing, but if we feel there’s an older demographic that would be interested — if it’s Guy Lark or somebody, and everybody’s going to be 50 years old — then it’s all seated, and someone will bring you drinks and food. It doesn’t get better than that.
What led you to this place?
In 2004, the retail CD business had started to slide, so I had to diversify. I wanted to open a music venue. I did a lot of construction with my dad when I was young, so I was looking for a big open Office Max or grocery store kind of shell, where I could build tiers and grand luxury boxes — because you know Dallas is into that. Then I found that this place was available. People have fond memories of this place from back in 1946, when it was built — having their first kiss in the balcony or whatever it may be. It’s hard to beat having a landmark for your place. I just kind of jumped into it blindly. I was able to buy the building this last February, so we’re here to stay.
Was it hard for you to book this place at first?
Yes, that’s the thing you have to understand about this business is these places come and go, so at the agency you’re not talking to the bands when you book the show. The agents just pretty much ignore you for a long time. We had Olospo [now The Slack] for our big opening night. They were my favorite local band at the time, so that worked out great.
What’s the biggest misperception about this place?
That’s it’s a movie theater, but it’s about to become a movie theater again because we’re about to show classic movies on our off days. I just think that people are so willing with watching a new TV show or watching a new movie, so why aren’t they willing to experiment with a new band? They don’t have all their albums, don’t know all their songs, and that’s why we’re so heavy into education, teaching what the bands sound like in our advertising, and putting the music and video up on the website.
What do you listen to?
I like fusion. I like music that it’s not just one style of music; it’s mixing many styles. It’s exploratory; it’s fun; it’s adventuresome — whether it’s country and rock or it’s bluegrass and funk, or if it’s just variety. I really like it all. Just from being at the CD stores for the last 15 years, you get turned on by music, and a lot of it is seeing people be turned on by a certain band. It really rubs off on you.
Do you have a favorite show from the last four years?
I really like the Polyphonic Spree. They’re just a fountain of joy. It just doesn’t end. That whole show is just something that needs to be experienced.
Do your tastes help determine who performs here?
A lot of it is how their records have sold at CD World. I try to book music that’s not angry. I just try to book music that has a smile associated with it, and stay away from the angst and the anger and the hate. It’s too nice a building to expose it to that.
For information, visit granadatheater.com.