Brooklyn Paramount Theatre

385 Flatbush Avenue Extension,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Showing 251 - 275 of 287 comments

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 10, 2005 at 8:11 am

Rosa Rio also played at the Brooklyn Paramount, (mentioned farther down in the story) and she is still alive and still playing and still a delightful, gracious lady. Her published works for jazz and theatre organ can be found on eBay from time to time.

RobertR on March 10, 2005 at 7:31 am

There is a picture here of one of the organists playing at the Brooklyn Paramount.

HenryAldridge on March 3, 2005 at 5:19 am

Thanks for the comments about Leibert. Could you contact me at

dadams on March 2, 2005 at 4:08 pm

Dick Leibert was at RCMH from the day it opened in 1932 till somewhere in the early to mid 70’s when he retired to Florida. I knew him for several years before he retired, a gracious and gentlemanly fellow, with a wicked dry sense of humor. I took many a date with me to the Music Hall, Dick would let us in at the 51st street stage door and let us watch the show from the wings of the stage….always impressed the girls, let me tell you! The last time I heard him play was at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ on both the pipe organ there and a Baldwin electronic. He did some endorsements for them I think. He took a lot of criticism in those later days for using his own set combinations and not experimenting… true, but gee he was playing for 40+ years at that point. And, the organ was in bad shape, it had suffered from several “experts” who tried their own gimmicks – one even cut some pipes up as I recall. You had to use big combinations both because so much didnt work by then, and to be heard. The organ speaks from behind grillwork, so at its best it sounds muffled. Dick always played a standard that fit the movie, I remember ‘Stardust’ before some space picture, and usually had a current pop tune worked up.

Even my classical organ professor (who studied with Fred Swann – that’s credibility) agreed no one could do rapid finger substitutions like Dick – watching his fingers move chromatically up and down the keyboard for a tibia slide was just unbelieveable…. what technique he had. Even in the last years he practiced constantly in his dressing room on an old upright piano.

So when Communion is over in church, and I keep taking stops off the Swell to just a celeste as I move the harmony up the scale, fading out to just a 32'in the pedal – only my wife knows its really a Leibert ending before the movie starts!

HenryAldridge on February 24, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Radio City’s organist Dick Leibert went to the Music Hall from this theater. Does anyone have information about his tenure here?

RobertR on February 22, 2005 at 2:18 pm

Theres a better chance of this coming back to life then Loews Kings.

JimRankin on February 22, 2005 at 1:19 pm

This string of news story and comments should bring us up-to-date:

jdorinson on February 15, 2005 at 11:15 am

As a callow youth of fourteen, I took my first date to the Brooklyn Paramount. I struck out. Sixteen years later, I enjoyed a better outcome when I taught my first classes (Western Civ. & American History) in the balcony of this 4,400 seat famous theater. The home of rock and roll in the 1950s, it became the site of many basketball games from the 1960s to 2005. I watched in awe as Berry Leibowitz dribbled through opposing players in 1966. Larry Newbold and Luther Green led the Blackbirds back to basketball glory in 1967. Recollecting these starry knights on dramatic nights, I wonder “Where have all the flowers gone?” Where indeed is Cliff Culoko, Ruben Roodriguez, Lou Brignone, Ron Smalls, Ron Williams, Ernie Douse, Robert Cole, Riley Clarida, Mike Hay, Juney Smith, Charles Jones, Richie Parker and other illuminaries who brought us immensejoy and so much to cheer about. Curiously, Joe Dorinson

YMike on February 8, 2005 at 5:27 am

But where will it be installed? LIU will be using a new arena for sports next year. All the original theatre seating is long gone. Since there are only bleacher type seating in the theatre and no stage it would be unsuitable for concerts or shows. Anyone know if the organ is going to the new LIU arena.

PeterApruzzese on February 7, 2005 at 11:54 am

The organ is being repaired and will be reinstalled over the next year or so (it was severely damaged last year by a leaky roof). The New York Theatre Organ Society just announced that LIU has secured a contractor to begin the restoration work, whoch involves removing various components and taking thme to Connecticut for resorative work.

YMike on February 7, 2005 at 10:52 am

Went to see an LIU basketball game here last Saturday so I could see the interior. Sad to say the oragan is gone. While the orchestra seating is gone (since 1973) most of the carvings on the walls remain. The Grand Lobby is still pretty much intact as well as the stairways to the downstairs restrooms. Next year LIU’s teams will be playing in a new arena next door so the future of this building’s interior is uncertain. I sugest you go there now while its still there.

MichaelAnthony on December 4, 2004 at 11:42 am

“J.F.Lundy” this is directed to you!
You seem to have the most knowledge out of everyone here.
I went to your profile, but it didn’t say much at all.
I’d like to know if you have anything to do with the Lundy Brothers Restuarant in Sheepshead Bay?
Also, If you know of where I can go to see photo’s and to find out more about the old “Mayfair Theatre” and The “Grace Theatre” in Brooklyn.
You can e-mail me directly at:

MichaelAnthony on November 29, 2004 at 3:48 pm

Several years ago, I went to the old Brooklyn Paramount with my wife because she was registering for some classes. A good friend of hers is the sports trainer. The sports medicine area, is where the dressing rooms used to be. As a matter of fact, I was led to the exact area that “Buddy Holly and His Comets” hung out back stage…
…Believe me! You could feel the vibes!!!

JimRankin on November 3, 2004 at 8:22 am

The site lists them correctly: they are both of the NY PARAMOUNT in Manhattan, not the BROOKLYN PARAMOUNT.

RobertR on November 3, 2004 at 7:27 am

I hope this winds up becoming a theatre again. How great to see that landmark marquee recreated.

EMarkisch on September 7, 2004 at 11:39 am

See Werba’s Brooklyn Theater page for more information about the Montauk / Crescent / Brooklyn / Minsky’s Theater’s history.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 28, 2004 at 9:15 pm

I think Minsky’s was the Werba.

jflundy on July 28, 2004 at 7:12 pm

I believe Minsky’s BurlyQ Theater may have been originally Ryan’s Crescent Theater.

jflundy on July 28, 2004 at 7:08 pm

Closer view of Paramount in 1934 with DeKalb Avenue trolley passing by theater:

Brooklyn Public Library link

jflundy on July 28, 2004 at 7:05 pm

See 1934 photo looking up to toward Paramount with Minsky’s Theater in foreground:

Brooklyn Public Library link

William on July 19, 2004 at 8:53 am

The Alan Freed Bio film was called “American Hot Wax” released by Paramount Pictures. The poster artwork for the film shows a converted marquee of the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 10, 2004 at 11:36 am

It was in the Brooklyn Paramount in 1930 that Ethel Merman really hit the big time. Obviously, Merman was alread on the way to being a star or she wouldn’t have been performing in such a first rate venue, but her voice and personality filling that 4000 seat hall got her some serious attention. Can you image the Paramount orchestra, the organ and Ethel Merman belting out an Irving Berlin tune? Really, I was born 60 years too late.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 10, 2004 at 11:10 am

I lived in downtown Brooklyn in the 1980’s and I could see the top floors and roof of the theatre, at the same angle as in the post card. I would have had a perfect view of that big rooftop sign. Alas, I was only a few decades too late.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 10, 2004 at 8:50 am

Warren, thanks for the clarification. Do you accept personal e-mails?

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on June 10, 2004 at 7:33 am

The 1989 film “Great Balls of Fire” about Jerry Lee Lewis includes a scene set in the Brooklyn Paramount. (Remember that incident when JLL set the piano on fire?) The Memphis Orpheum was the stand-in hall. Maybe I should say the Orpheum acted the part of the Paramount. Of course the Orpheum looks nothing like the Brooklyn Paramount, but the film was made in Memphis and the it’s a big, pretty hall so in the eyes of the director, close enough. They used the Orpheum’s marquee with the Orpheum name covered. There were a couple of absolutely ridiculous changes to the interior which are, mercifully, only briefly seen and were taken down after filming. The director appearantly had never been in a movie palace before: he certainly didn’t know ANYTHING about basic cinema presentation. He didn’t even know that the Brooklyn Paramount had had anything to do with Paramount Pictures. Clueless. CLUELESS! The whole film was awful beyond words.