Dover’s first large modern cinema was the Granada in Castle Street. The cinema was the first in the Granada chain founded by Sidney Bernstein, who in the 1950s moved from cinema to television when he started Granada Television. The new cinema in Dover was originally to have been called the County but during its construction Bernstein decided this would hardly be glamorous and catchy and, remembering a highlight of a holiday in southern Spain, decided it should take the Andalusian city’s name.A few weeks before the opening on 8 January 1930, posters appeared around Dover with the line “Start Saying Granada”. Nothing else, no explanation, and only days before it opened did the local press reveal what a ‘Granada’ actually was. On the big day journalists and film industry guests were treated to travel from London by train in a special Pullman car organised by Bernstein. The publicity said that the Granada could seat 2,000, although the true figure was around 1,700. The building was designed by architect Cecil Masey and the interiors by the Russian born stage director and designer Theodore Komisarjevsky. Komisarjevsky went on to be responsible for the interiors of all but two of the other cinemas in the Granada circuit.The foyer was in a French eighteenth century style with a marble staircase, chandelier, and Venetian mirrors. In keeping with its namesake city the Granada’s auditorium was decorated to resemble a Moorish courtyard. A cinema trade paper ‘The Bioscope’ described the auditorium as “having a suggestion ofthe Alhambra, a Russian ballet dream of Granada rather than an attempted reproduction”. Bernstein and Komisarjevsky are said to have completed some of the painting themselves in the frantic rush to have the cinema ready on time.As well as films the programmes included variety acts and the stage was provided with curtains, footlights, dimmers, a modern stage lighting switchboard and three levels of dressing rooms backstage. A 3-manual Christie organ was installed in the centre of the orchestra pit and rose up on an electric lift during intermission with the organist already seated at the keyboard. The organ pipes were hidden from public view behind the right hand grille of a pair of decorative grilles in arches either side of the stage.The first presentation at the theatre was ‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’ starring Norma Shearer and Basil Rathbone. The film was accompanied by a forty five minute stage show comprising of West End Varieties together with eight Granada Girls. Leonardi & His Band performed and went on to perform on a daily basis and Hedley Morton was the resident organist at the Christie Organ.In January 1931, admission prices were reduced. The management said that this was a birthday gift to the patrons of Dover, but evidently it was a ploy to increase business. In addition, economies were introduced at the theatre: the live stage shows were suddenly stopped and Leonardi & His Band returned to London. Only the organist remained and continued in his capacity of support. The Granada was bought by the ABC cinema chain in 1935 but continued to operate under the Granada name. During the Second World War the Granada continued to operate and was mentioned in a cinema trade magazine as “exactly 19 nautical miles from the enemy and the nearest British cinema to Hitler.” On 23rd March 1942, the packed the theatre was shaken by a bomb that landed some 20 yards from the away where it wrecked a number of shops. On the Saturday evening of the 6th September 1942, enemy shelling caused possible serious structural damage to the building. The screening was stopped and the audience filed out of the building in an orderly fashion. Once the building was deemed safe, the theatre reopened. Two years later, on the 3rd September, 1944 the Granada was again damaged by heavy shelling, closed for repair and, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, reopened once more. In 1960 the cinema was renamed the ABC but many old Dovorians always referred to it as the Granada. Also in 1960 the organ was removed and later sold to a cinema organ enthusiast. Audiences began to decline steadily as more and more people stayed at home to watch television. In 1971, with the closure of the Odeon, it became Dover’s last remaining cinema (the Gaumont and Essoldo both having closed in 1960). In spite of its now unique position, audiences continued to decline. In the early 1970s the circle was closed leaving just 610 seats in the stalls to cater for the remaining customers. The cinema eventually ceased to be economically viable and closed on 30 October 1982. The building was converted into a night club but this closed and the building stood derelict for many years.In August 2014 the derelict building was finally demolished exposing to view the faded glories of this once splendid Picture Palace. It was a sad fate for this first of the Granada cinema chain, when six other Granadas with interiors by Komisarjevsky have been listed.