The outside of the theater has become quite famous - five clowns are built into the stucco at the front, mimicking the emotions of theatrical actors. The details inside are grand and include columnns and relief etchings on the walls.
During its early years, the theatre attracted many famous performers. In addition to screening movies, it was used for everything from beauty contests to traveling vaudeville acts In the lat 1960s and 70's, the popularity of the Granada dwindled, and the building hit some hard times. The building closed in 1982 due to the damage caused by a leaking roof. While the building was on the National Register of Historic Places, demolition was still threatened. However, in 1994 a band of citizens rallied to preserve the theater for visitors and locals.
In cooperation with the Kansas Preservation Alliance, the Emporia Granada Theatre Alliance was formed and acquired the building, saving it from destruction. Today, the building hosts concerts and cultural events that people come from all around to attend.