Paramount Theatre

560 Bay Street,
Stapleton, NY 10304

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Showing 76 - 100 of 249 comments

dangel
dangel on November 12, 2008 at 4:01 am

If anyone is interested in joining a committee to restore the Paramount, email me at

The ornate plaster details are intact and are salvageable. The fixtures are gone, the projection room is bare. The seating is gone. Bathrooms are remodeled. Office spaces renovated. Staircase intact! Entry doors on bay street gone. This may sound grime, but the bones of the building are still good. No condos planned. The NYC landmarks Commission will be landmarking the facade. The facade needs restoration. It has beautiful terra cotta details.

Vito
Vito on November 9, 2008 at 7:49 am

I do not see how a restoration is even possible since there is nothing left of the theatre to restore.
Are you speaking only of the lobby? Some part of that still exsists. However nothing remains of the main auditorium.
With the St George we had much to work with since much of the theatre was still intact. Not so for the Paramount.

dangel
dangel on November 9, 2008 at 7:19 am

Yes, restoration is the plan. The only retail space planned is the first floor-some occupied now. There are two not-for-profits already located on the second floor of the building. The third floor has office space for lease. The offices face Bay Street and are situated in front of the theatre, separated from the theatre by a wide cooridor and have various entryways.
The landmarking of the facade will be coming up after the new year. I will keep you posted.

Vito
Vito on November 9, 2008 at 5:00 am

What do the owners have in mind?
Since new floors are going down I guess it will become some sort of retail space. Since the Paramount theate we all loved is gone, is the plan to try and retain or reproduce some of what was the original theatre?
I also worked on the first attempt at the restoration of the
St George. My main concentration was on restoring the projection booth, but I also helped out on the stage.

dangel
dangel on November 9, 2008 at 3:51 am

The plasterwork will be repaired and reproduced where needed. The wood molding found in the theatre may be mahogany or walnut. The lighting is nonexistent, unless the crew working on the sprinkler system has their temporary lights on. There are some horrible temporary lighting in the lobby- which the owner promises is temporary. The fixtures all need to be recreated in keeping with the original style. The community has been left in the dark for so long. That’s not my style. I work part time with the St. George Theatre, so we many of us may have crossed paths…You may email me at

Vito
Vito on November 8, 2008 at 7:21 am

dangel that is interesting news, of course since most of the interior is gone I wonder what the plans are there.
Please keep us informed.
I would also like to get in touch with the owner, I have much to share with them. Should you come across any contact info please pass it along.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on November 8, 2008 at 7:02 am

Dangel, I have information on how you can restore those details most effectively. Please e-mail me at and specify who you are in the subject line. Thanks! – Michael Perlman

Garth
Garth on November 8, 2008 at 6:56 am

Dangel we appreciate your inside info! Any chance of getting a look in there?….

dangel
dangel on November 8, 2008 at 4:12 am

I only have good news- The owner is restoring the building – the new cement flooring project has started , as well as the sprinkler system throughout the theatre. He is planning the restoration of beautiful plaster ornamentation. The blue ceiling is still intact. The gold paint on the plaster ornamentation is peeling or damaged- but it is salvageable. The seats and fixtures are gone. The exterior has been nominated for NYC Landmarking and the owner will support the designation. I will keep you posted – cinema enthusiasts!

Vito
Vito on November 7, 2008 at 7:04 am

Well dangel I look forward to yuor post
As to the plaster and wood detail, I can tell you most of that had been painted black by one of the tennants when the theatre was disrespected during it’s run as a dance club during the 80s.
You will have that mess to clean up.

dangel
dangel on November 7, 2008 at 6:46 am

I realize the building is in bad shape, and understand everyone’s concern. We are so very lucky that the St. George has so much of its original fixtures, murals and character intact.Even with seats removed and the orchestra floor area destroyed at the Paramount, the place has a lot of plaster and wood detail. The issue is the water damage and how severe it is. Is there the will to restore and reuse or renovate and destroy??? I will keep you posted.

Vito
Vito on November 7, 2008 at 4:11 am

When last I stood on the stage I felt as though the wood was going to give way under my feet, it had a lot of water damage. That was a while back just before the auditorium was gutted, so unless roof repaire have been made, which is doubtful, heaven knows how bad it has beome now.
The sprinkler system in the lobby area is the only way the owners can use the lobby. You will reall, a vender had hoped to use the lobby, but without a sprinkler system use was prohibited by the fire department.

Garth
Garth on November 6, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Dangel- I would'nt get my hopes up too high. It appears they are only renovating the lobby. Vito has stated in many posts that the interior is in terrible shape , and I was told by a knowledgable source that there is much water damage…..

dangel
dangel on November 6, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Does anyone have interior photos? I wonder if the wood trim work is mahogany? The owners are installing a sprinkler system. There is still hope.

Vito
Vito on October 21, 2008 at 6:14 am

Oh Warren I am so graetfull for those photos
I was born and raised in Rosebank and lived there until 1961
I worked the Paramount for many years and attended St Marys church as well. Those photos are a truely wonderful trip down memory lane.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 21, 2008 at 6:09 am

Two photos, possibly already linked here above, can be found midway through this article about the Stapleton area: View link

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on August 21, 2008 at 10:03 am

Let’s remain hopeful this gem is not demolished. The name is even suggestive of its grand history.

Garth
Garth on August 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

Guess he couldn’t. Anyhoo , a high rise apartment building with retail stores is going up across the street , on the site of the former municipal parking lot. Don’t think it has anything to do with the theatre building.

Garth
Garth on August 12, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Acer , can you post your photos?

acer42
acer42 on August 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I have photos of the Paramount’s interior taken when it was still running films. In design, it is almost identical to the Paramount Theatre, Lynn, MA and the Warner Theatre, West Chester, PA. Both of these theatres have been demolished. The Lynn Paramount was about the same size as this theatre, the Warner was smaller. Decorative fine points differed, but the basic designs are the same.

Rapp & Rapp used several basic designs they repeated time and again as architects. This design was first used in 1926 with the Chicago Oriental and the Saint Louis Ambassador. There are many similarities, especially in the ceiling arrangement above the organ screens.

reinhardt
reinhardt on June 5, 2008 at 9:51 am

Who manages/owns the theater these days? Do you think there is any way to get into it? We are doing a project about the area and we would like to photograph the interior. Any help would be welcomed. Thank you.

Lasse
Lasse on June 4, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I’m the guy that had hoped to stage a show at the lobby on June 21. I got the owners permission, printed posters and everything but got halted by the fire department. Now a stand pipe test is scheduled for August. If that goes well I’m trying for another performance date. I also got into contact with some city departments in hopes of doing it all legally. I’ve only been here since 2000 so I only know about the good old times through friends or blogs like this one. Yes, the main theater itself is completely gutted. And I imagine the lobby itself had chandeliers and all that fancy stuff. That’s all gone. But what remains here at least is a beautiful art deco structure, staircase, gallery and wall ornaments, that would make a great performance venue, holding about 100-200 people.
Our musical revue is still taking place on June 21 at a Gallery around the corner. http://northshore.noizart.com

Oh, and I also found this link to an old Metallica bootleg: http://www.bootlegs.ws/met/met83-04-08.html

TwnMt
TwnMt on May 25, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Does anyone remember my grandfather, Harry Allen? He managed this theatre for several years. He gave away free passes to the movies to me and friends when dating. I still have one. He also managed the Empire theatre in its Hay Day – when women received free dishes and kids movies were shown.

Garth
Garth on May 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm

I just put it on my calendar. I will go just to see what they’ve done with the foyer, last time I got in there it was filled with junk….

edroogie
edroogie on May 14, 2008 at 8:48 am

Perhaps there’s hope?…
apparently, friends of mine are staging some kinda artist’s event happening at the paramount…in the “beautiful large renovated art-deco foyer”

View link