The patrons lined up silently outside the Granada Theater, as if the Sheriff of Nottingham were lurking somewhere in their midst. Maybe he was—who knew? If you were a forest dweller of no small renown, you did well to keep a wary eye out for his dastardly countenance. His blade was no match for your own, to be sure; nonetheless your preternatural ability to foil his authority rested on your constant vigilance—for you are Robin Hood!
OK, no, you’re not. You’re just in line to see “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” the rousing 1938 Errol Flynn version with Olivia de Haviland and Basil Rathbone as the Sheriff—playing against type from his more familiar screen personage as Sherlock Holmes. And truth be told, you can’t actually stand in line for the movie until this Friday and Saturday night at the Granada Theater in The Dalles, where a unique form of entertainment has taken hold.
It’s yesteryear once more down there. Owners Chuck and Debra Gomez have gotten creative with the Granada since the pandemic. Of course they can’t pack the place, but as safety allows, they can get a nice comfortable crowd in to watch an old movie in a dinner theater setting—with the dinners planned as thematic companions to the films. Seeing a Western? As long as it’s one before Mel Brooks, you might get a hearty helping of beans. Not long ago, they served TV dinners to go with a matching 1950s movie. A night at the Granada is a cinematic and dining time machine.
Next up after “Robin Hood”: “Ball of Fire,” showing Sept. 25 and 26. The 1941 comedy, co-written by a young Billy Wilder and directed by Howard Hawks, enjoys a rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and rightfully so. It stars Barbara Stanwyck in the title role, a wisecracking night club singer whose use of slang baffles grammarian Gary Cooper. Watch for an amazing scene with drummer Gene Krupa as he plays a drum solo on a book of matches.
For more information, visit the Granada at GranadaTheaterTheDalles.com.