Paramount Theatre

560 Bay Street,
Stapleton, NY 10304

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Showing 226 - 247 of 247 comments

Vito on May 14, 2004 at 1:30 am

I guess it’s really over. I won’t want to even drive by the old girl while they destroy her

mp775 on May 13, 2004 at 6:50 am

Work permits are posted on the door for removal of non-loadbearing partitions, removal of plaster ceiling, and leveling of floor slab.

Vito on March 22, 2004 at 1:50 am

The Paramount was of course part of the Fabian circuit, along with St. George, Ritz, Liberty and SI Drive in, in the final years UA ran it for a while.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 21, 2004 at 6:45 am

P.S. The theatre’s name is Paramount, not The Paramount.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 21, 2004 at 5:22 am

This theatre was originally part of Paramount-Publix’s “Wonder Theatres” project, which was taken over by Loew’s after only the Brooklyn Paramount had been started. Loew’s didn’t want to do business on Staten Island, so it agreed to Paramount-Publix going ahead with that theatre. It also didn’t take the Brooklyn Paramount because it already had Loew’s Metropolitan in that area.

Vito on March 21, 2004 at 1:45 am

Yes the people running the Paramount at that time were very respectful of her. The father of a relative of mine ran the light shows. I visited a few times during rehersals etc and remember how excited the guys running the theatre were when they were able to get the marguee to light up, it was a fun to see. Unfortunatly they went out of business and new people rented the theatre and wreaked the place, taking out seats,painting everything black,destroying light fixtures etc.

avkarr on March 20, 2004 at 5:42 pm

In 1982 I saw a performance by a British rock group of some note,
XTC at this site. Notable because the leader developed a paranoia towards live performing and was one of their few Stateside jaunts. I was not appreciative of the history of this movie house at the time but I can say that I remember 1) it was a pain to park in the area but 2) the theatre was well kept and the bathroom was (to my delight) very clean.

Vito on February 3, 2004 at 2:37 am

The posting by p7350 brought back memories, I worked as an usher during the during the engaement of House On Haunted hill run and we were posted in front of the cage to prevent anyone from jumping up and touching the cage that housed the skelton which flew across the theatre up to the balcony during the movie, (what fun) The theatre did close for a time in 1962 and was reopened with refurbished seats and a new look to thew lobby was also completed. The opening movie was indead “Flower Drum Song” I remember how proud and excited we all were that day. Thanks for the memory of that.“))

Jean on February 2, 2004 at 4:35 pm

New stores have opened in the building that houses the theatre, thus perhaps bringing back some life to the neighborhood. However, the last information I read was that the front of the building will be incorporated in to condos or such. I would recommend the Staten Island Historical Society or SI Museum of Arts and Sciences to save the marquee at least.

p7350 on February 2, 2004 at 12:09 pm

Have very fond memories of the Paramount. My junior high school graduation was hed there. Also remember being terrified when House On Haunted Hill played there. An actual skeleton came from the screen over the audience. I also remember that they closed the theater for a short time in the early sixties for refurbishing the theater. The lobby was updated with tile and I remember all the seats were redone. They even had an illlustrated display on the marquee for the re-opening attraction which I believe was The Flower Drum Song.

Jean on January 18, 2004 at 5:30 pm

With regard to Stephanie, she went back to Yakima, Wa. to work at a theatre there.

Vito on January 17, 2004 at 2:23 am

Hi Larry, I don’t believe there is any interest in saving the theatre. Steckman allowed the building to deteriate too much I’m afraid. What we need is someone who feels the way we do and has a lot of money.

Vito on January 17, 2004 at 2:18 am

Hi Jean. I too was (is) a volunteer at the St. George. Havent seen or heard from Stephanie in a while and don’t know what is going on.
Have you heard?

Lawrence on January 16, 2004 at 12:59 pm

So very sad to see this happen to such a grand dame of a theater.
Is there any way this house can be saved? Maybe not given the condition – but – one never knows. All options should be exhausted
before it goes by way of the wrecking ball.

Jean on January 16, 2004 at 12:51 pm

I know how you feel Vito, as I was ( am? ) one of the volunteers at the St. George. It breaks my heart to see the Paramount as she is.

William on January 16, 2004 at 6:52 am

The Paramount Theatre is located at 560 Bay Street.

Vito on January 16, 2004 at 4:18 am

I once worked the Paramount and attended many, many movies there as a kid and young adult, it was my favorite theater. Prior to the building being sold, Stephanie Gilmore,who was at the time restoring another theater, and I toured the Paramount with the owner. What we found was very disturbing, the theater had been neglected and in very bad condition.The beautiful mirrors in the main lobby had been removed and the walls painted grey and the lighting fixtures had all been removed. The restrooms looked as though a bomb had gone off inside, just debris and garbage everywere
Then we went into the main auditorium which was once grand and ornate was anything but. The ceiling had been leaking for a long time so the walls were water stained and the paint peeling, most of the walls had been painted black. The seats, which originally numbered at about 2000, were removed and the space littered with junk and boxes belonging to the owner. We made our way through the rubble to the stage and climbed up amoung the many boxes strewed around. The stage floor had also been damaged by water and was I thought dangerous to walk on. Looking up I saw the original Cinemascope screen up in the flies waiting to come down and reflect those wonderful images once again, but alas that was never, I thought, ever going to happen again.The main screen curtain had been torn down by a rock group which played there a few years prior when the grand ole gal was used as a nightclub, I’m told that they just tore it down and threw it in to the crowd, later to be thrown away.
Our next stop was the balcony, which still had the 500 seats still in place, this was the only thing so far that had not been distroyed or damaged by the savages that had previously rented the theater.I sat in one of the seats and weeped, I remember saying out loud, what have they done to you. Next stop was the projection room, which had been stripped of everything, there was nothing at all left in the room, I asked the owner what happened to the projection equipment, but he did not know.
The Paramount was truly dead. I am not sure what the new owner has in mind for this once magnificent theatre but my understanding is it will never again be what it once was. Im a way as painful as it was I am glad I got to see the theatre in that awful condition, it makes it easier for me to see it converted into what ever is next.
I want to see it put out of it’s misery.

MarcoAcevedo on December 28, 2003 at 6:02 pm

You get a perfect view of the Paramount from the Staten Island Rapid Transit when it makes the Stapleton stop right across the way. While the area’s seen better times, the small-town charm is still evident from up there, with the theater and the old commercial buildings against the backdrop of private homes clustered along the wooded rise. What is also evident from that vantagepoint is how preposterous a highrise would be in that location.

Jean on October 7, 2003 at 11:34 am

Recent news is that the theatre’s exterior will remain while the rest of it will be demolished to make way for a high rise.

Stephanie_Gilmore on November 20, 2002 at 6:12 pm

The Paramount originally seating 2,500, but was diminished to 2,000 seats in 1961. It had one screen. The Theatre was unique because it had not one, but two pipe organs. (source: Going to the Movies on Staten Island by Colin Reed. I highly recommend it!)

Jean on November 8, 2002 at 1:49 am

Designed by the firm, Rapp and Rapp.

VitoPetroni on February 17, 2002 at 9:13 am

The paramount was closed in the early 1970s after a short run as an adult movie theatre. The grand ole gal was soon after converted into one of Staten Islands premiere dance clubs, featuring many popular rock groups on it’s huge stage.After a couple of years of bad management the paramount was again closed. To there credit the people running the club did their best to treat the Paramount with respect. A new heating system was installed and only 1/3 of the orchestra seating was removed to allow dancing.The stage was intact and used frequently. The remaining seating in the orchestra ,as well as the balcony was left intact. Above the orchestra, attached to the front of the balcony hung the Paramount neon sign that came from the Paramount theatre in New York which was donated by a collector.Today the Paramount sits with a for sale/lease sign awaiting her next role.