Paramount Theatre

560 Bay Street,
Staten Island, NY 10304

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Showing 51 - 75 of 239 comments

dangel on July 27, 2009 at 5:47 am

The theatre is being restored and the owner is doing a great job, considering years of neglect by Steckman’s Sporting goods- it takes a NON-Staten Island native to do the RIGHT THING. A fresh outlook helps!
A reporter from the Si Advance was kind enough to give us an assortment of early articles on the theatre which includes descriptions of the Art-Deco interior- Modernistic- Egyptian designs. There are many great details remaining- such as a mural on the ceiling greens and blues…The exterior terra cotta will be landmarked in the near future…

dangel on July 27, 2009 at 5:40 am

The proposed condos/coops across the street will now be apartments-former city parking lot- 75% market rate and 25% low income- it will be interesting to see the impact this will have. The Homeport is also expected to include more housing than originally proposed.There is lots of real estate speculation ever since the Navy homeport left, so lets see if it pays off for the vitality of the area….

shoeshoe14 on July 24, 2009 at 12:08 am

I hope it revitalizes the area, it’s kind of seedy.

shoeshoe14 on July 24, 2009 at 12:03 am

Last Sunday, I was biking by and went to the side and saw two workers outside of the open door. I asked if I could peek in and they let me walk around slightly b/c of the cones inside and construction. I shined by bike light up at the ceiling and proscenium. There is not 3 separate concrete poured sections, instead of one sloping area.

They said it would be finished (walls too, although they looked pretty faded) by September.

Vito on July 18, 2009 at 5:43 am

garth, As I mentioned in another post, it would be a good idea to introduce the new owner to Cinema Treasures. Fill him in on what we are about. Perhaps he would log on, read this thread, and perhaps contribute. We would love to hear what his plans are for the theatre.
As to the pit, we tried in vain to get it up and running it was in desperate state of disrepair. The stage is in much beter shape, other than the main curtain which was removed in the 80s, much of the rigging was still operational. Only the floor concerns me, due to the rain faling down on the wood surface it will need to be replaced.
My other concern would be, as you mentioned, the parking. That will be a problem. An upscale club would be nice, but if the club were better run than the last two were it has a shot. In fact the club that operated in the early 80s was very successful, one of the best dance clubs on the island. unfortunatly the folks running it began allowing bad things to occur, drug sales etc and then as I understand began having problems with paying their taxes. The tax thing is what I am told I have no positive evidence of that. but the drugs were definatly an issue. I even went so far as to scold Steckman, who owned the building at the time, for not keeping closer tabs on his tennant.
Please try and convince the new owners that we wont bite and he should stop by and tell us a bt of his plans.

Garth on July 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Vito when I see the guy again I will ask about the pit , and if the stage will be preserved/repaired. I re-read your post about the floor having a slope , and it now made sense that it had to be leveled to make way for a dance club. If it is to be an upscale club they will need valet parking. Don’t know where they would park the cars…..

Vito on July 17, 2009 at 7:06 am

They tried the dance club idea befoe and with not much success.
I hope it will be more of an upscale venue this time.
In addition to the new floor in the main auditorium they will need to replace the entire floor of the stage. When last I stood on it I felt an errie creaking sound and felt like it was going to give way. Lots of water damage to the stage floor befoe the roof was repaired.

I wonder if they will make use of the orchestra pit.

Garth on July 16, 2009 at 6:39 am

I got a better look yesterday and the walls are not yet fully restored. The person there told me the statues and ornaments have been sent out to be worked on. Concrete was poured to level the auditorium floor and a wood floor will be built over it to allow for dancing. The roof has been fully repaired. I hope it does well as an entertainment venue but with the loss of the municipal lot across the street I think parking is a concern.

MPol on July 16, 2009 at 6:00 am

Glad to read/hear that progress is being made on the Restoration of this handsome-looking theatre.

Garth on July 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I actually saw the auditorium today. The side door was open with a fence in front of it that you could see through. It was kind of dark in there but from what I could see the owner is doing a great job. The walls of the auditorium looked like they had been restored and I think there was a new floor. All the seats had been removed. The curtain on the screen area was closed. As I was leaving a worker (the owner?) was returning from lunch , he didn’t have time to talk but he said they expect to open by October. I thanked him for the restoration of the theatre. I will definitely be passing by more often as I live about 10 minutes away. If I am allowed in I will try to take some cel pictures to post on the site.

Vito on June 23, 2009 at 6:46 am

Sorry garth I can not figure out what door is being used to deliver concrete. I wish I were on SI so I might go there and look into that. Perhaps you might ask to speak to a supervisor at the site and explain that you are doing research for a report you are doing for Cinema Treasures and would appreciate any information you might acquire. Ask nicely and perhaps you might get lucky and speak with someone who likes to talk. I world imagine the folks behind this project are very proud of what they are doing and world be anxious to share information.
I would encourage all that post here to get to the theater and see what you can find out as Cinema treasures “reporters"

I understand this project is being called a restoration, however, during the time I spent volunteering at the St George during the restoration there, we often visited the Paramount, and as I have reported here before what we found was there was nothing really left of what was the Paramount. It will be a difficult task to restore with so little left to actually restore. Perhaps we could call it a recreation of the theatre. And that ain’t bad.

The landmarking will of course be a giant step; for one thing the Art Deco Facade which is the cornerstone for the argument for the land marking must be preserved. Does anyone know if the theatre façade has been given exterior landmark designation? My understanding is that the auditorium is not being considered for landmarking. Most of the space was altered or removed by previous, let’s call them tenants, you can still see the original design on the ceiling and I imagine can be restored. In addition there was still some plaster made designs around the stage, I wonder if those still remain.

I am of course thrilled by the prospect of the return of this once grand theatre, but having seen first hand what it looks like now I can only say it will b an enormous undertaking

MPol on June 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

That’s a relief, but here’s hoping that they restore the Paramount to a theatre that shows great movies, rather than the schlock that’s being mass-produced so frequently today.

Garth on June 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm

When I noticed Cinema Treasures has changed the theatre’s status to “Closed/Restoring” it made me feel good.

MPol on June 22, 2009 at 11:06 am

Ouch!! Sounds like they’ve got their work cut out for them, regarding restoration of this great-looking theatre. I wish them the best of luck.

Garth on June 22, 2009 at 10:45 am

Vito can you tell me , if you were to enter through those side doors on Union Street what part of the theatre is that? I don’t think they were ever open when the place was operating.

Vito on June 22, 2009 at 10:35 am

A new floor would make sense and would also be needed. The original floor had a slope that the new owners may not want. In addition, the old floor was ruined by previous tenanats when all the remaing seats were crudly removed by sledge hammers. The floor sufferd a lot of damage.

Garth on May 30, 2009 at 11:21 am

Today workers were pouring cement from a truck down a ramp thru one of the side doors (a new floor?). The area that was visible from outside had all fixtures removed and was totally vacant. I figured what the hell, I might as well ask to have a look around and got the usual response.

MPol on May 27, 2009 at 6:58 am

Too bad that such a beautiful-looking theatre was allowed to deteriorate like that! It’s disheartening to read/hear about stuff like that happening.

dangel on May 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

The owner is getting a liquor license to make the space an entertainment venue- not to compete with the St. George Theatre. I just got to see the ceiling in full light- it was always partially lite. It has the original blue and green paint and art deco drawings. There are also 7 original light fixtures, more than I previous stated. They are doing a great restoration of the site.

Garth on May 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

Dangel do you have any updates on the theatre?

dangel on April 17, 2009 at 7:16 am

The owner is seeking interior photos for restoration efforts- email me if you have any please…

dangel on April 17, 2009 at 7:12 am

Hi. NYC Landmarking should happen within the next 6 months. The owner supports landmarking of the exterior.

Vito on March 22, 2009 at 9:42 am

Sad story abou the mirrors. Steckman told man the madmen who had leased the theatre in the 80s as a nightclub had removed and destroyed them and painted the area with black paint.
Another sad story involves the original blue travelor curtain.
When I asked what happened to it I was told that during one of those live rock shows the “artists” got irrated whern no one opened the curtain as they were about to “perform” and they simply tore it down and threw it into the howling savages attending the show. It was later descarded with the garbage.

dangel on March 22, 2009 at 8:55 am

Thanks. I will post lobby photos this week- original mirrors are gone, but plaster molding and staircase are intact. The decadence of theatre design was a national trend and having a Rapp and Rapp theatre shows that SI’s close proximity to Manhattan, brought style and affluence. The ART Deco style is a rare survivor, should have be protected years ago…but that ’s your forgotten borough.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on March 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

Thanks dangel for providing us with this info. As you are probably aware, there is a valiant effort to preserve the Ridgewood Theater in Queens by having the city landmark its facade. It is assumed that this will be an important first step in saving the theater as a whole. The same would apply to the Paramount.

On your blog, you state that the lobby has been restored. Are you able to provide any photos? All we have heard on this page is how the interior has been gutted or severly damaged.

I also congratulate you for starting your blog. I am a native New Yorker, but until my sister married a Staten Islander 15 years ago, my exerience with the “forgotten” borough was limited to the Ferry.

Over the years, I have been amazed to see how much Staten Island has to offer and, more importantly, how little the rest of the world knows about it. From Sailor’s Snug Harbor, to Richmondtown Restoration, from Fort Wadsworth to the Marchand Tibetan Museum, From the Conference House to the St. George Theater, From the zoo and Botanical Garden to the new minor league Baseball Stadium, Staten Island holds many surprises.

A restored Paramount would be a wonderful addition to Staten Island’s and, indeed, New York’s, treasures.