LIU Plays Last Game at Brooklyn Paramount This Thursday
BROOKLYN, NY — Unless Long Island University’s men’s basketball team finishes in the top four of the conference, and end up hosting the Northeast Conference Tournament, the Blackbirds' final game in the former Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will be Thursday, February 24th, according to this report from Newsday.
In eight months, LIU will open its new 2500-seat, $40 million arena next to the Paramount. The 1928 Brooklyn Paramount, at Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues, once sat over 4000, and was designed in extravagant French Baroque style by the Chicago firm of Rapp & Rapp.
The movie and vaudeville theater is perhaps best known for its rock and roll shows of the 50s, hosted by Alan Freed, where such stars as Little Richard, “Fats” Domino, Richie Valens, and Chuck Berry performed live.
While LIU acquired the Paramount in 1950, the rock shows continued until 1962. Afterward, the theater was turned into a basketball court. The first game was played in fall of 1963.
Men’s basketball coach Jim Ferry said, “We play in such a beautiful place that has history. It’s going to be sad on that last day when we shut the doors and we’re not playing here anymore.” Ferry went on to say, “I’m frankly keeping my fingers crossed that we ruin the whole ‘playing the last game in the Paramount’ thing Thursday.”
After its athletic era ends next week, the future of the Brooklyn Paramount is not certain. University officials have discussed converting the space into a student center with a cyber cafe.