The goons returned to Massachusetts Street Thursday night, as the Granada celebrated its dual anniversary — 20 years as a live concert venue and 80 years since its opening as a silent movie theater in 1933 — with a free outdoor screening of “The Goonies.”
The festivities began at 7 p.m., when the Granada converted its parking lot into a beer garden and families staked out spots in the middle of the street with perfect vantage points of the giant inflatable movie screen.
Lawrence city commissioners agreed last week to close the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday for the event, which allowed the hundreds of moviegoers to lay out their blankets and picnic baskets on the street.
Set up with pizza, lawn chairs and rocky road ice cream, Lawrence resident Sybil Gibbs was one of the many goony-fanatics at the screening last night. Gibbs says it’s the fun downtown festivities like this that make Lawrence special.
“To share something I cherish with my friends and community is so great,” Gibbs said, “It’s events like this always renew my love of Lawrence.”
The Granada first screened the cult-classic movie about a group of preteens on an adventurous treasure hunt in June 1985. Four years later, the downtown Lawrence movie theater closed, reopening as a music venue in 1993.
Drew James, marketing director for the Granada, says organizers chose the movie in part to pay homage to the theater’s history.
“We wanted something that actually premiered here back in the day,” James said. “Plus, it has a wide appeal from children, to college students and people in their 30s who were into it when they were kids.”