Paramount Theatre

560 Bay Street,
Staten Island, NY 10304

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Showing 101 - 125 of 239 comments

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 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 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

NativeForestHiller on May 2, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Vito, clever reuse for the marquee letters!

NativeForestHiller on May 2, 2008 at 7:26 pm

A restored and adaptively reused theater can improve the value of a neighborhood, and lead to urban renewal in a positive context. It has been proven through & through across America. It only needs someone with a historically-sensitive & creative vision.

Vito on April 1, 2008 at 5:38 am

LuisV, you brought up a point I had forgotten to mention, the Stapleton area is in very poor condition. Most of the store fronts are boarded up and there is very little life left in that once wonderful old town. No one in their right mind would build there now. We had a glimmer of hope a few years back when the navy announced the building of a new sea port there, but that idea has died.
In fact one of my visits to the theatre was around the time there was interest in saving the theatre because of the talk of the Navy yard and revitalization of the neirborhood. Even Tappen Park was spruced up for a while. But that’s all over now and the theatre or what’s left of it just continues to deteriorate. During the time of the first crack at restoring the St. George we had hoped to salvage some objects from the Paramount to set up as a sort of tribute to the great lady in the St George downstairs lobby area. The man who bought the Paramount building from Steckman told us to “take what we want”
Sadly however, over the years from the last days as a movie house through the years as a dance club, most of what the Paramount was had been removed. Even the entire projection room had been stripped of all the equipment. Likewise the stage, whish had little left to salvage. I did manage to take four marquee letters to spell out “VITO” which I have mounted in my basement.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on March 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm

p.s. I think The St. George Theatre is doing quite well! I would definitely go back!

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on March 31, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Based on many of the posts above it would appear that a “restoration” of this theater is highly unlikely due to the fact that most or all of the interior has been gutted. I recently attended a performance at the nearby St. George which has been substantially renovated and was amazed a what a huge and beautiful theater it is. It is probably the largest renovated theater in New York City that virtually no one has ever heard of. Yet it is a 5 minute walk from the the Staen Island Ferry terminal. It’s quite a different story at The Paramount where the immediate neighborhood is uninviting and forbiding though it is close to the Staten Island Rail Road station. Nonetheless, I don’t see anybody putting up money to rebuild this theater in this kind of neighborhood and expect to make money from it.

Vito on March 31, 2008 at 11:35 am

The Paramount is dead.
Read my previous posts.
There is nothing left of the interior, much of which has been gutted.

NativeForestHiller on March 31, 2008 at 9:54 am

Each community has its own type of residents, and their interests should be surveyed. I don’t feel that one performing arts center per community is too much.

NativeForestHiller on March 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Thanks, Movie534! Performing arts is the way to go! I don’t live in SI, but do take an interest in this theater. Its facade is highly appealing. The people should be the individuals to seek preservation-friendly owners with a vision. Otherwise, these gems will most likely go to pot in the name of progress in a negative sense.

markp on March 30, 2008 at 6:10 am

Lets all hope and pray this one gets saved NativeForestHiller. We don’t need another one going retail or condo. Why can’t people see that reportory and performing arts is the way to go?

NativeForestHiller on March 29, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Does anyone have any updates?

NativeForestHiller on March 16, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Any updates on the Paramount Theatre? Please e-mail me at

LarryChorman on December 4, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Thanks, guys. “Lost,” the pictures say it all…That is the Rex I’m talking about near the corner of Wright St on Canal; the Park was definitely the predecessor name for the Rex. I printed them & looked side-by-side, & the buildings are identical (with slight modifications).

Vito on December 4, 2007 at 9:14 am

I remember going to the Rex, I think it closed about 1950. I do not recall if it was ever called the Park, although it probably was because I only recall three theatres in Stapelton, the Paramount, Liberty and Rex. As a teen, going to the movies often meant heading over to Stapelton.
The Rex played combinations of B movies, often westerns like
the Durango Kid. It was a small theatre maybe 400 seats with no balcony and was in the Brewery section on canal Street.
The Liberty was also a second run double feature house, bigger than the Rex with about 1000 seats, including a balcony. They had vaudeville there in the early days, so did the Paramount by the way.
The Star was a nightmare, it had about 450 seats no balcony and the
SIRT railroad train ran right behind the buliding, you could often hear the rumble of the train going by. The theatre also had a bit of a rodent problem, and was coined the RATS (Star spelled backwards)

LarryChorman on December 4, 2007 at 6:41 am

This message is for Vito (and anyone else), but is not about the Paramount. I’m curious about a couple of other old theaters on SI. The Rex in Stapleton and the Star in New Brighton. I clearly remember the buildings with the marquees, but not in operation. The Star is listed on Cinema Treasures, but not the Rex. I’m thinking that the Park theater (the picture on C.T. looks familiar) later became the Rex. Anyone out there know about these two?

Vito on November 28, 2007 at 10:58 am

Good point Warren, unlike today where the ads are placed by the studios, prior to the 6os the ads were placed mainly by the theare owners.(Loews,RKO,etc) I guess it all changed with the introduction of circuit runs like Blue Ribbon,Red Carrpet etc.

Vito on November 27, 2007 at 11:19 am

Warren, Thanks for that ad. The Paramount is where I got my start and will always have a special place in my heart. Seeing those ads take me back to a time when the theatre was alive and vibrant. Anytime you have ads, or info on this wonderful theatre, please post.

Vito on November 15, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Garth, adult movies did have a very short run. It was in 1978 after UA had given up its lease. The soft core porn films were shown in 16mm from the balcony. The projector and some of the films were still in a store room in the booth last time I saw the place. As you stated the Advance article put an end to the showings, and in 1978 Steckman leased the theatre out as a dance club. The last movies shown here by UA were in 1977. I have not been back to investigate the new doors. I hate going there and seeing the theatre in its current condition. I still have nightmares from my last visit.

Garth on November 15, 2007 at 11:28 am

Adam , it never did become an adult theatre. As I posted many moons ago , the owners were going ahead with that plan , but when it was reported in the Advance, community opposition stopped it. The theatre closed shortly after. Some folks at the St. George told me that theatre closed in 1977 , I think it was around that time. I’m still wondering why they installed those glass doors in front….

AdamBomb1701 on November 15, 2007 at 10:55 am

I don’t remember the Paramount running adult films. And, it didn’t close in the early 1970’s. I saw “Poseidon Adventure” there in 1974, “Eiger Sanction” there in 1975, and “Midway” and “The Enforcer” there in 1976. I don’t remember when it closed, (late ‘70s, perhaps) but I have fond memories of the place.

Garth on October 23, 2007 at 7:24 am

I noticed they have installed new glass doors at the entrance behind the pull-down gate. Anybody hear anything?

Vito on August 19, 2007 at 11:42 am

Lost Memory, Thanks for that site. I enjoyed that walk down memory lane very much.

Vito on August 19, 2007 at 6:42 am

lost Memory, Gosh what a sad picture,
Do you or anyone else have any pictures from the days when the theatre was open? I used to have a great 8x10 shot of the marquee taken during the mid 40s, but I can’t find it any longer.