BLUEFIELD – For the first time in many decades, the Granada Theater in Bluefield will present live performances on stage on December 4th.
Called “STARZ Christmas Wonderland,” the program will feature 70 to 80 students from STARZ Performing Arts Academy in Green Valley.
Gabrielle Massie, owner of the academy, said it would be a special night.
“It’s such a beautiful installation,” she said. “All the children are thrilled about it.”
Massie said the Granada, which reopened in August after a $ 3 million renovation project and restored in line with its historical roots, is a “magical place when you walk in.”
Students will perform clips from “The Nutcracker Suite” during the first half of the show and the second half is based on the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Chistmas Spectacular, Massie said.
“We always try to have a section for ballet students and one for musical theater students,” she said.
As well as making history for putting on the first live show on the Granada stage, which in its early days hosted famous artists like Frank Sinatra, the students are also thrilled as they couldn’t have had a live show last year and were forced to put on a virtual show because of the pandemic.
“They are really excited,” she said, pointing to two senior students who were disappointed last year.
Peyton Terry will play the Fairy Queen and Hannah McMillion will be the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Hannah’s parents, Brad and Renee, will also be a part of the show, playing Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Students in the show range from 3 to 18 years old and are enrolled in a variety of courses including recreational and competitive ballet, tap dancing, musical theater and voice.
Founded in 2000, STARZ is a member of the International Dance Council CID at UNESCO, Paris, and currently the only dance or performing arts academy approved by the Mercer County Commission for Performing Arts Education.
In addition to the Saturday night performance at 7 p.m., a second show will be presented on Sunday, December 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $ 12 each with children 4 and under admitted free. They can be purchased at the gate or at the academy.
The Granada opened in 1928, serving as a cinema and performance hall.
Ultimately, the theater only screened films and did so until it finally closed its doors in 1978.
After being the home of a bar for several years, it closed permanently and fell into disrepair.
Members of the Bluefield Preservation Society led the renovation project, starting in 2012 and saw their dream come true when the theater opened to show a film for the first time since 1928.
On August 28, moviegoers saw a double feature film: “Red Dust” and “The Maltese Falcon”.
These two films were chosen because Mary Astor starred in both and was also the star of the first film to ever screen in Granada: “Rose of the Golden West”, a silent film that was not available for screening.
– Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]