An old parking area behind The Granada has become something greater with safer access, better lighting and a mural that literally dances off the wall.
All of that was mentioned Thursday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $2 million Plaza Granada, which provides an upgraded walkway for theatergoers and others.
The amenities also include a limited number of parking spaces and an improved parking and drop-off facility behind the theater.
The centerpiece, though, is clearly the long mural saluting the arts, which graces the walkway. It was created by Santa Barbara artists Tracy Lee Stum and Sayak Mitra.
And Thursday’s cutting of the ceremonial ribbon, with a giant scissor, was done in front of that mural. Caren Rager, executive director of The Granada, cut the ribbon with several people at her left and right: architect Brian Cearnal of Cearnal Collective; Rob Skinner, CEO of The Towbes Group; Palmer Jackson Jr., executive chairman of The Granada, and Oscar Gutierrez, the Santa Barbara mayor pro tem.
Watching them was a small crowd, which earlier heard speeches about what the project meant to The Granada and the community.
“The board of directors and staff of The Granada Theatre are proud to have spearheaded this project, and we’re grateful to those who helped make it possible,” Mr. Jackson told the audience, which included Mayor-elect Randy Rowse and Santa Barbara City Council members Eric Friedman and Alejandra Gutierrez.
“In addition to the mural that now lines this walkway, this long-awaited and meticulously planned restoration also features improvements to lighting and pavement upgrades for aesthetically enhanced, safer and more enjoyable experience with the Santa Barbara shopping, dining and cultural district,” Mr. Jackson said.
He also thanked various partners who helped to make the restoration possible.
In his speech before the group, Mayor Pro Tem Gutierrez noted, “The Granada is a symbol of how beautiful and how diverse our city is.”