Brooklyn Paramount Theatre

385 Flatbush Avenue Extension,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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kong1911
kong1911 on April 5, 2007 at 4:36 am

In answer to saps, I’ve been told that the show went well. Folding chairs to sit on but everything went off without a hitch. Even the Wurlitzer was used before the shows.
Now the bad news. I’ve just learned that the organ concert for April 29 has been put off for awhile. I will put up a posting here when they reschedule it. In the mean time, if you’d like to see some of these places that are still used and sometimes show silent movies with the organ as they did in the old days. Go to www.nytos.org/

kong1911
kong1911 on April 4, 2007 at 4:54 am

I should have some info on the show by the end of this week. But if your in the neighborhood on Sunday, April 29th there will be a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer 4/26 opus 1984 organ which is the originial organ installed at the Brooklyn Paramount by Wurlitzer and is in originial condition. The concert will start at 3PM. Admission is $12.00 for nonmembers of the NYTOS org. The concert will be of course in the old Paramount auditorium which is now a gym but you can still see a lot of the old Paramount which is left and not covered over or has not been removed. Also it is OK to bring a camera. The doors are still located at the corner of Flatbush and Dekalb Ave. You can also check with www.nytos.org/ for directions and more information on this concert and others which are presented in other theaters around the area. Hope to see some of you there.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 3, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Anyone see the show? How’s the auditorium looking nowadays?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 29, 2007 at 3:53 pm

A vintage postcard view of the Paramount Theatre from 1933:
http://flickr.com/photos/kencta/439115517/

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 28, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Interesting article in today’s New York Daily News.

Here’s the link View link

and here’s the article, copyright NY Daily News.

“Paramount gets to rock all over”

BY DENISE ROMANO
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 5:10 PM

“Most of us…consider this the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll shows.”

BRUCE MORROW

The Brooklyn Paramount Theatre – which some consider to be the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll concerts – will once again echo with the sweet harmonies and guitar riffs of rock royalty.

Legendary acts such as Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Drifters and the Penguins will take the stage Sunday at the ornate downtown Brooklyn theater, which is now used as a college gymnasium.

“It will be a very historic moment for me and my audience to go back there where it all started,” said radio personality Bruce Morrow, better known to his listeners as Cousin Brucie.

Morrow will host the event, which is being co-sponsored by Long Island University and the Daily News.

“My belly feels good when I walk into the building,” said the Sirius Satellite Radio disk jockey, who stumbled upon the theater while filming a show.

The building, at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Aves. and now owned by Long Island University, was built in 1928 by its namesake studio to screen talking pictures, the first theater of its kind.

Over the next 30 years, it served as a venue for such live performers as Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman.

But it did not earn its claim to fame until the 1950s.

“Most of us who are considered to be rock ‘n’ roll mavens consider this the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll shows, and the first place where there was an interracial audience,” Morrow said.

The famed deejay and concert producer Alan Freed, often credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll” in 1951, began staging performances at the Brooklyn Paramount in the mid-50s. The 1989 movie “Great Balls of Fire!” about Jerry Lee Lewis, starring Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder, includes a scene set in the Paramount.

“It was a great mixture for all kinds of acts,” Morrow said of the famed theater. “It was a melting pot. It taught people how to get along. Music is a balm; it’s very soothing in all kinds of ways.”

University officials said the theater’s ceiling and the walls have been preserved, and the basketball hoops that now hang on the walls do not diminish the nostalgia of the space.

“You can never erase or destroy emotions,” Morrow said of the golden ceiling. “Thank goodness we have something in this world that survives – and that is rock ‘n’ roll.”

There will be two shows on Sunday, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30p.m. There are $40 bleacher seats still available for both shows, and some $100 seats are available for the 7:30 p.m. show. To buy tickets, call (866) 468-7619. All proceeds will go to scholarships for LIU students.

(I wonder if the basketball hoops are still there, since I believe the new gymnasium is open. I won’t be at the show, but any first hand reports will be greatly appreciated!)

Vito
Vito on March 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm

So they are going to watch a concert in a gym.
No theatres left to support the event. What a crime!

Vito
Vito on March 15, 2007 at 9:34 am

Thanks Kong, Thanks for that info, I would not want to see the theatre in it’s current condition. You sound like someone who is saddened by what has happened there, who knows maybe there will be a miracle and the folks who restored RCMH will be back some day to bring the paramount back.

kong1911
kong1911 on March 15, 2007 at 7:42 am

In answer to Vito, I’ve been there many times. I help take care of the pipe organ from time to time so I can tell you that the theatre is a gym. No seats with a wood basketball court floor and no stage. The walls have been covered over with drywall part way up. The rest of the walls and ceiling are still there. The first mezz. has been removed. The way the conversion was done you could still make a good theatre out of it but the flyspace above the stage will now be limited. I’d love to help them convert it back though. I do want to say that I hope the show does well because it’s for charity but the sound (with all that wood and nothing to hold it back)
will be echoing all over the place. For someone who with their mind
can see through all of this it would be an experiance. I know it was for me the first time I went in there.

Vito
Vito on March 15, 2007 at 5:17 am

So is anyone planning on attending the show next month and perhaps take photos?
I for one would be more than just a little interested in hearing about it.
I am afraid the ads are deceiving, some may be expecting to see the movie palace in all it’s original glory and may not know what the theatre looks like now. Sort of a cruel April Fools joke if you ask me. Lets hope the shows are a major hit, encouraging a restoration of the grand ole gal.

Patsy
Patsy on February 22, 2007 at 11:04 am

A gym would have bleacher seats, but to turn this space back into a theatre space the original or theatre like seats need to be purchased or brought back.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on February 21, 2007 at 3:44 pm

WINS 1010 DJ Alan Freed held his R'n'R shows here in the late ‘50s. After being slammed hard in the Senate Sub-Committee Hearings on Payola and losing his job in 1960, successor Murray the K took over, sometimes alternating venues at the nearby Brooklyn Fox through 1963 or so (pre-Beatles era).

Will be neat to see some of those names up on a theater marquee again, including Cousin Brucie’s (last heard doing a radio voiceover in “Brooklyn Lobsters” with Danny Aiello in ‘05).

RobertR
RobertR on February 21, 2007 at 2:11 pm

They did one of these rock and roll shows there about 6-8 years ago.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 21, 2007 at 12:52 pm

This is a rock ‘n’ roll show hosted by Cousin Bruce Morrow, with about a dozen acts on the bill. I hope it’s not a one-time thing like that jazz conference back in 2004.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 21, 2007 at 12:01 pm

I am not sure it is a sign of any current attitudes. They have done this jazz showcase before:

View link

View link

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=3976

Patsy
Patsy on February 21, 2007 at 11:40 am

This is good news as it shows that the powers to be at the college are thinking about turning this space back into a theatre and never again a GYMNASIUM!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 20, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Oh. My. God.
Brooklyn Paramount Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion Concert scheduled for Sunday, April 1, 2007. Two shows: 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets $40. to $100.
I can hardly believe it.
View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 30, 2007 at 6:24 pm

I think they just built a new performing arts facility unfortunately. I would certainly rather have the theatre serve as as a student center, along the same lines as the gym, than have it demolished.

Patsy
Patsy on January 30, 2007 at 5:50 pm

The word “reluctant” is an interesting choice as the university Provost should realize the importance of this former theatre that could be used by the university for performances. I plan to write Gale Stevens Haynes and do hope that other CT members will choose to do so also.

CharlieS
CharlieS on January 30, 2007 at 5:11 pm

To all, the going at the university is getting tough and I cant suuggest stongly enough that letters be written in mass to the universlty provost Provost Gale Stevens Haynes, who is reluctant to use the space at the Paramount for anything but a student center. This would be a terrible blow to the theater,equally as bad as the gym. While the university definitly needs and has a legitimate need for a new studnet center, it is clear that both could well be incorporated into the exisiting building, not one or the other. So write, write, write !!!! let her know how we feel, and the support for the restoration and student center. All letters will help greatly to continue to butt her resistance

Patsy
Patsy on January 25, 2007 at 8:36 am

ERD: A student center would be nice, but returning it to a theatre again would be even nicer as so much of it is still there except for the seats, of course.

ERD
ERD on January 25, 2007 at 7:53 am

As one of my favorite theatres in the past, it is wonderful to hear that the theatre may be restored! Hoping L.I.U. will follow through.
I am sure a student center could be incorporated into the design.

CharlieS
CharlieS on January 25, 2007 at 2:07 am

Big news !!!! The universiy quitely has meet on 2 occasions with Hugh Hardey, the world reknowned theatrical architect who restored the Radio City Music Hall. The university is considering the restoration of the theater in conjunction with the installation as part of and intergral to the project a world class student center which it desparetly needs. Hugh Hardey is confident this can be done while not hurting the integrity of the theater itself. The univerrsity will soon be seeking out initial seed money to fund the architect for schematic drawings, so they may then have the tools by which to seek out the larger donations for a project of this magnitude. Understand this project can and will not move forward without the student center incorporated into it. But know it will move forward.
In the not to distant future,there should be more news along with university info for donations. Keep the faith !!!!!

CharlieS
CharlieS on January 25, 2007 at 2:07 am

Big news !!!! The universiy quitely has meet on 2 occasions with Hugh Hardey, the world reknowned theatrical architect who restored the Radio City Music Hall. The university is considering the restoration of the theater in conjunction with the installation as part of and intergral to the project a world class student center which it desparetly needs. Hugh Hardey is confident this can be done while not hurting the integrity of the theater itself. The univerrsity will soon be seeking out initial seed money to fund the architect for schematic drawings, so they may then have the tools by which to seek out the larger donations for a project of this magnitude. Understand this project can and will not move forward without the student center incorporated into it. But know it will move forward.
In the not to distant future,there should be more news along with university info for donations. Keep the faith !!!!!

Patsy
Patsy on January 5, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Well, I’m glad you found them as I tried to locate these photos on the web and had no luck…guess I didn’t know where to look! If you find others that show this theatre within the gym, please post them.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 5, 2007 at 7:16 pm

You’re welcome, Patsy; however they are not my photos, I was speeding around the web and found them.