Featured Client: Granada Theatre – Santa Barbara, California
Handmade Lighting Fixtures by Steven Handelman Studios Evoke 1920’s Drama and Elegance in Restored Granada Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA – March 2008). As part of the Granada Theatre Restoration Design and Construction Team, Steven Handelman of Steven Handelman Studios designed and manufactured all the decorative lighting for Santa Barbara’s completely restored Granada Theatre, which opened in late February 2008. Over 250 fixtures, including chandeliers, wall sconces and pendants, were handmade by skilled craftsmen in the firm’s Santa Barbara workshops to stylishly light every nook and cranny of the 50,000 square foot historic theatre.
Handelman admits the task was a challenge, but relished it. “Santa Barbara is my home,” he said, “and it was a thrill to be involved in this once in a lifetime project. How often does a designer get to participate in the restoration of a grand, Gilded Age entertainment and motion picture palace when it’s being transformed into a state of the art, regional performing arts center?” The majority of The Granada’s lighting fixtures were selected from the Steven Handelman Studios Catalog, which offers over 350 choices in the company’s signature Santa Barbara style.
The remaining decorative lights were modified from standard fixtures or newly designed by Handelman in collaboration with Phillips Metsch Sweeney Moore Architects. In addition, Steven Handelman Studios restored and duplicated several existing fixtures from the original theatre. Although made in the early twenty-first century, The Granada’s new lighting fixtures iterate the hand-tooled workmanship and hand-forged appearance of the theatre’s original 1920’s lighting, as a result of Steven Handelman Studios employing the same non-mechanized fabrication techniques that were used to craft the vintage pieces eight decades ago.
No stranger to theatre lighting design, Steven Handelman Studios has supplied lighting for every theater in Santa Barbara, including the Lobero and the Arlington. The firm is currently at work on the Music Academy of the West’s new Hahn Hall, which is scheduled to open in 2009. For thirty-seven years, Steven Handelman Studios’s respect for historic authenticity, handmade techniques, and high quality have made the firm a favored choice of the most prestigious Hotels, Country Clubs, Shopping Centers, Theme Parks and Residences throughout the United States and Europe. “The Granada is one my proudest accomplishments,” says Steven Handelman.