Teatro Paramount

19 Avenida Ponce de Leon,
San Juan 00917

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Showing 26 - 50 of 54 comments

ARR10062408 on November 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

This is one of my favorite buildings in Puerto Rico. We have highly detailed Exingting Condition Drawings of The Paramount and other theaters in Puerto Rico that we like to share.

Andy Rivera

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm

A photograph of the remaining facade of the Teatro Paramount, photographed in February 2009:
View link

banchy31 on March 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I can’t believe what San Juan goverment do with the Paramount Theater, they destroyed all the inside of the paramount, OMG, I dont remember the paramount when it was a glorious theater, but I remember when the Paramaunt was a triplexed cinema and I loved it because it conserves the majestic art deco in even in the exterior and the interior area, since the paramont closed in 1999, I prefer to go to the Metro, because i dont like the megaplex cinemas, I really miss the Paramount, my only hope is that the reconstruction would be of an art deco design, so the paramount can be one more time a glorious theater.

LuisV on March 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

Just a note to everyone that I have posted The Victoria Theater in Ponce which I discovered on my trip in December. If anyone has any addtional info to add it would be appreciated!

jmpomar on March 16, 2009 at 12:42 pm

It is indeed shocking to see what they did to the Paramount.

LuisV on February 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

Well, the ONLY thing I saw standing literally standing was the facade. Everything behind the front wall was a pile of rubble.

To me, while not totally demolished, it is pretty much gone. We’ll see what they do to rebuild it.

p.s. The facade was and remains quite handsome which made the pile of rubble behind it so shocking to see.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 1, 2009 at 6:07 am

Status says “Closed/Demolished” I think that’s a mistake. It may be gutted, but it’s not demolished. Comments?

LuisV on January 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I submitted in 2 weeks ago but it does not appear to have registered. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have an actual address, but I will resubmit it soon. I needs to be listed as it is a still existing theater and we need to find out more about it.

LuisV on January 22, 2009 at 8:24 am

Cineast…Thank you for your comments. I was equally saddened by what I saw at the Paramount because, as you said, that was the same story at the Matienzo. I don’t understand the logic unless the interiors are just too far gone for a restoration. My only hope is that any reconstruction would be of a design that would be considered landmark quality 40 years from now. However, with the current state of Puerto Rico’s budget crisis, it is unlikely that will happen. I’m afraid that the the facade will be standing with an empty lot behind it for years to come.

On another matter, since you seem to knowledgable about PR theaters, I was wondering if you have any knowledge about the abandoned theater that I saw in Ponce whose marquee had the name of Victoria?

LuisV on January 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Cineast….Yes, that is the story at the theaters that you mentioned, in addition to the Paramount and the Fox Delicias in Ponce. But it is terribly unfair to paint all of Puerto Rico with that attitude. As I mentioned on the above post, The Teatro Yaguez is a spectacular restoration and they should be very proud of it. There also are fully restored theaters in Vega Baja, Guayama and several other towns across the island and, while La Perla theater in Ponce and the The Teatro Tapia in Old San Juan don’t qualify as movie palaces because they did not show films, they are two of the Western Hemisphere’s most historic theaters and both have been recently and beautifully restored.

Perhaps, Ponce will have the next success with The Victoria. If you have a chance to visit Puerto Rico you will see that the island, as a whole, has a spectacular record in the restoration of historic buildings. But there will always be buildings that are lost. No state has a perfect record and I would say that, as a whole, Puerto Rico has one of the best records in saving and restoring historic structures.

LuisV on January 11, 2009 at 11:24 am

Hi JSA, Alas I did not see the Metropolitan. I thought that I would get back to the area later but I did not.

How is your memory of Ponce theaters? I posted on the Fox Delicias page for lack of a better space, but when I was in Ponce (which is such a beautiful town) I passed an abandoned theater on my way to the central plaza. It was about 2-3 blocks directly West of the Cathedral and the name of it was The Victoria. The marquee (with broken glass) was still there and it looked like it had been abandoned for years. It really stood out as so much of Ponce has been restored in the last 10 years.

Do you have any information on this theater? It’s size? It’s design style? The current state of the interior? While Ponce does have the spectacular La Perla theater, it does not have a restored movie theater. I do not count the Fox Delicias which, while the facade is spectacular, the interior was totally gutted.

Now I’m going to post on the The Yaguez’s page about my visit there. A beautiful restoration!

JSA on January 11, 2009 at 10:30 am

Hello Luis V,

Glad to hear that you had a nice vacation! Last I heard, the theater was going to be renovated. If so, then it would make sense to gut the inside, because the theater was triplexed in the early 80’s. But the whole building? Wow, that’s not a good sign. Hopefully what you saw are the first steps in rebuilding the venue.

Did you by any chance spot the Metropolitan, also in Ponce de Leon Ave.? It’s probably now operated by a church.

I have many wonderful memories of the great movie theaters that once graced both the Ponce de Leon Avenue (Metropolitan, Paramount, Metro, etc.) and Fernandez Juncos (Cinerama, Cortes 1), which ran paralell to it.


LuisV on January 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Well, I am back from my wonderful Christmas vacation to Puerto Rico and I am sad to report that as I was driving down Ponce De Leon Avenue on my way to the the Amazing Puerto Rico Museum of Art I saw a truck carrying out debris from the front of the Paramount theater. At first, I thought “Excellent! the renovations have started!” But as i passed directly in front of the theater, my heart sank. The only thing remaining of the Paramount is the facade (which is quite handsome). Where the theater had been is a vast rubble strewn lot. Some renovation indeed.

I can only hope that if the government’s intent is to build a brand new theater behind the old facade, then I would hope that they build one that will be considered a classic in its own way 50 years from now. I can hope! If anyone has any additional information I would be eager to hear about it.

LuisV on June 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Has there been any movement on the renovation of this theater? I’ve read a lot about plans about the renovation of Santurce and I know that there have been some successes, but I haven’t heard anything about the Paramount. I will be spending the Christmas holidays in Puerto Rico this year and will have a look around and report back on this site.

fredfajardo on August 1, 2007 at 10:26 am

I remember seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, “Psycho” in 1960 in this great theater which featured a fabulous dark balcony where we used to “neck” in the back as teenagers. From late 1969 til early 1971, I lived in an apartment around the corner on Calle Duffaut and spent many an evening at the Paramount, since TV really sucked on the island that time (before cable). Also remember seeing the classic, “M.A.S.H.” there.

JSA on September 27, 2006 at 4:13 pm

In my opinion, one of the most unusual movies screened at the Paramount was “The Song Remains the Same”, circa 1978 or 1979. The film chronicled a rock concert at Madison Square Garden by the British group Led Zeppelin. This was the last film I saw there before its conversion into a triplex. During the theater’s triplex years, I saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Clash of the Titans”, and “Rocky III”.

Andres on December 29, 2005 at 3:39 am

It was so sad to see the Paramount in its present state during my recent visit to PR. And the Ponce de Leon Ave. is so dark with all the businesses and theatres that are closed now. The only lit marquees were the Ambassador and Metro. Any updates on the Paramount renovation? Andres.

trooperboots on December 31, 2004 at 1:29 am

My mom was born in Puerto Rico and remembers this theater. She was born in 1927 and left for New York in 1936. This theater was new when she went to the movies there. Here is her memory:

A theatre I remember was the Paramount in Puerto Rico. I saw the “Frankenstein” Monster
figure standing in front of the theatre (it had been playing there) and remember I cried thinking I was “doomed.” Carlos Gardel, the famous Argentine tango singer, had just finished his live performance in the auditorium and came out of the alley artists' entrance. He ran to my rescue. He scooped me up in his arms to pacify me. Needless to say, he became my hero!

josem on July 2, 2004 at 7:35 am

Great news!!! Today’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper informs that the governor has officially signed legislation that will renovate the Santurce area. In those plans…renovating the Paramount, which will become a live theater venue!!! This is truly great news that will not only save the Paramount , but that will also help the Metro theater since the area will become a government priority.

josem on June 28, 2004 at 2:30 pm

laicram on May 27, 2004 at 8:05 pm

Hey jose how can i contact you so we can talk? where was the Riviera??

josem on May 25, 2004 at 1:50 pm

I am extremely happy to know that the Paramount is being renovated. After the loss of the historic Riviera theater it’s good to see the local government involved in the renovation of Santurce theaters.

laicram on May 12, 2004 at 5:11 am

Hi JVC how can i contact you to share some info about theaters in PR. Hope to talk to you soon.

jvaquer on May 11, 2004 at 9:11 pm

To make a correction, the Paramount Theater in Santurce was originally built in 1922 and was first known as Teatro Olimpo. It had an orchestra area and three balconies and seated over a 1,000 spectators. In the early thirties it was remodeled into a movie theater. It stage could house musical and variety shows. It was here, on April 3, 1935 that Carlos Gardel, the famous Argentinian tango singer made his debut on the island. Shortly thereafter he died in an airplane crash in Colombia. The Paramount stage also served as the venue for several famous Mexican and Latin American artists who visited the island, and served as a radio theater in the heyday of Puerto Rican Radio broadcasts. It has a classic Greek revival facade that is still in excellent condition. In the late nineteen forties or early fifties an office building was built partly over the stage house, which is still standing today as well and which greatly reduced the size of the stage. An old picture of the theater is included on page 185 of the book EVER NEW SAN JUAN: ARCHITECTURE AND MODERNIZATION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Enrique Vivoni Farage, Ed.).

jvaquer on May 11, 2004 at 8:57 pm

The Paramount Theater has been expropriated by the Puerto Rico Land Administration for rehabilitation as a legitimate theater. Architects and theater consultants have been hired to begin design of the rehabilitation process. This project is being undertaken as part of the Santurce Renovation efforts that the Administration of Gov. Sila Calderon has begun in the area and which is being coordinated by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Housing Department. The Santurce renovation program includes several new housing construction projects, the sprucing up of several Ponce de León Avenue intersections, the construction of the new Government Development Bank Headquarters in front of the Sagrado Corazón Urban Train Station, new facilities at the Electric Power Authority Headquarters, the construction of a new Symphony Hall at the Performing Arts Center to serve as home to the Puerto Rico Symphony (currently in an advanced design stage) as well as the renovation of several theaters. The theaters are: the Matienzo and Music Hall Theaters, now in the final staqes of construction, the Paramount Theater, and the rehabilitation of the old Ambasssador Theater, now owned by the Electric Power Authority, by a local production company which has rented it from the Electric Power Authority. The Puerto Rico Land Administration is a public corporation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico dedicated mostly to acquiring land and buildings for government use and for redevelopment. Among it projects one can name the following: the New Center of San Juan Development Project in Hato Rey, the Old San Juan Waterfront Redevelopment Project, the restoration of the old YMCA building in Old San Juan to serve as the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee Headquarters, the Casino de Ponce Restoration Project. The agency owns land and well-known buildings such as the Casa Aboy in Santurce, the Pedro de Castro House in Guaynabo, the Asilo de Beneficencia Building in Old San Juan (currently housing the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture offices in Ballajá).