Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 12, 2006 at 6:32 am

Bway… if you scroll up you’ll find this question has come up from time to time on this page. All traces of the original theater were completely removed from the site. Even the Broadway facade was patched over to pick up the pattern from the rest of the building so that one would never have known there was ever a theater in the building. The high arch window and marquee we now see advertising the Hard Rock (and the WWF restaurant prior to this) is 100% replica, constructed around 2000/2001. No original elements were used at all.

As for the interior, it had been completely gutted (lobby and auditorium) and replaced with generic office and retail space). As with the WWF Restaurant before it, the Hard Rock exists almost 100% below street level in the basement of the building. Only a small street level entrance foyer (carved from the retail space that had occupied the site for some 35 years since the theater’s demolition in 1966) exists where the former Paramount entrance pavillion had been located.

Here’s a 1966 photo of the former auditorium space that should give you an idea as to the extent of the demoltion:
Paramount Gut Job

Bway
Bway on June 12, 2006 at 5:56 am

Was the Paramount completely dismanantled when it closed, or did some theater ornamentation survive? Today, with the Hard Rock inside, it would have made for an interesting restaurant, especially for Hard Rock, if it was not only housed in the theater space as it is, but if it still had a little of that ‘theater look".

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 8, 2006 at 5:20 pm

I reorganized my photobucket account and broke the links to the photos I posted above on December 5th. Here’s my new Paramount Theater album where those pictures may now be found.

My apologies to those with notifications on this page.

SeanVQ
SeanVQ on April 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

Playing the Paramount in 1930:
01/03 – ‘The Laughing Lady’ – Ruth Chatterton & Clive Brook
01/10 – ‘Glorifying the American Girl’ – Mary Eaton
01/24 – ‘Seven Days Leave’ – Gary Cooper
01/31 – ‘Street of Chance’ – William Powell-Kay Francis
02/07 – ‘Burning Up’ – Richard Arlen & Mary Brian
02/14 – ‘Dangerous Paradise’ – Nancy Carroll & Richard Arlen
02/21 – ‘Roadhouse Nights’ – Helen Morgan & Charlie Ruggles
02/28 – ‘Slightly Scarlet’ – Evelyn Brent & Clive Brook
03/07 – ‘Only the Brave’ – Gary Cooper & Mary Brian
03/14 – ‘Sarah and Son’ – Ruth Chatterton & Frederic March
03/21 – ‘The Young Eagles’ – Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers & Jean Arthur
03/28 – ‘Honey’ – Nancy Carroll & Stanley Smith
04/11 – ‘The Benson Murder Case’ – William Powell & Natalie Moorehead
04/18 – ‘Young Man of Manhattan’ – Norman Foster & Claudette Colbert
04/25 – ‘The Light of Western Stars’ – Richard Arlen & Mary Brian
05/02 – ‘Dr Fu Manchu’ – Warner Oland
05/09 – ‘The Devil’s Holiday’ – Nancy Carroll & Phillips Holmes
05/16 – ‘The Texan’ – Gary Cooper & Fay Wray
05/23 – ‘True to the Navy’ – Clara Bow & Frederic March
05/30 – ‘Safety In Numbers’ – Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers & Kathryn Crawford
06/06 – ‘The Shadow of the Law’ – William Powell & Regis Toomey
06/13 – ‘The Social Lion’ – Jack Oakie & Mary Brian
06/20 – ‘Dangerous Nan McGrew’ – Helen Kane & Victor Moore
06/27 – ‘The Border Legion’ – Richard Arlen & Fay Wray
07/04 – ‘Love Among the Millionaires’ – Clara Bow & Stanley Smith
07/18 – ‘For the Defense’ – William Powell & Kay Francis
07/25 – ‘The Sap from Syracuse’ – Jack Oakie & Ginger Rogers
08/01 – ‘Grumpy’ – Cyril Maude & Phillips Holmes
08/08 – ‘Queen High’ – Charlie Ruggles & Frank Morgan
08/15 – ‘Anybody’s Woman’ – Ruth Chatterton & Clive Brook
08/29 – ‘Let’s Go Native’ – Jack Oakie & Jeanette MacDonald
09/05 – ‘The Sea God’ – Richard Arlen & Fay Wray
09/12 – ‘Follow Thru’ – Nancy Carroll & Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers
09/19 – ‘The Spoilers’ – Gary Cooper & Betty Compson
09/26 – ‘Her Wedding Night’ – Clara Bow & Ralph Forbes
10/03 – ‘Laughter’ – Nancy Carroll & Frederic March
10/10 – ‘Heads Up’ – Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers & Helen Kane
10/17 – ‘The Santa Fe Trail’ – Richard Arlen & Rosita Moreno
10/24 – ‘The Virtuous Sin’ – Walter Huston & Kay Francis
10/31 – ‘The Playboy of Paris’ – Maurice Cheavlier & Frances Dee
11/07 – ‘Sea Legs’ – Jack Oakie & Lillian Roth
11/21 – ‘Derelict’ – George Bancroft
11/28 – ‘Fast and Loose’ – Miriam Hopkins & Charles Starrett
12/05 – ‘Follow The Leader’ – Ed Wynn & Ginger Rogers
12/12 – ‘Only Saps Work’ – Richard Arlen & Leon Errol
12/19 – ‘Tom Sawyer’ – Jackie Coogan & Junior Durkin

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 10, 2006 at 10:40 am

Robert R, do you have a transcription of that NY Times article by Bosley Crowther?

RobertR
RobertR on April 10, 2006 at 8:41 am

The end of an era, the Paramount closes in August 1964
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 5, 2006 at 9:21 am

Carl Ballantine! I haven’t heard that name in ages. I remember him from his many variety show appearances and his stint as one of the crew in “McHale’s Navy”. I just looked him up on imdb.com and happily find that he is very much alive and kicking with a healthy stream of steady work in TV, movies and voice-over work still in evidence – though certainly not at the level it was during his ‘60’s – early '70’s heyday.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on April 5, 2006 at 8:52 am

And the amazing Carl Ballantine!

JimRankin
JimRankin on February 25, 2006 at 5:36 am

Emily: In 1976 the Theatre Historical Society published their Annual: “The Times Square Paramount” by the late Michael Miller and it contained not only many photos of the theatre, but also Inventory photos of the furnishings, no doubt including mirrors. Unfortunately, it is out of print, but any library which got their MARQUEE magazine back then also got that Annual. Go to a library and ask them to check the Union List of Serials for the nearest library with it. Of course, you can always go to their Archive outside of Chicago and view it there, as well as dozens of images that have not been published. View the links on their site such as ‘Archive’ at: www.historictheatres.org

JimRankin
JimRankin on February 25, 2006 at 5:35 am

Emily: In 1976 the Theatre Historical Society published their Annual: “The Times Square Paramount” by the late Michael Miller and it contained not only many photos of the theatre, but also Inventory photos of the furnishings, no doubt including mirrors. Unfortunately, it is out of print, but any library which got their MARQUEE magazine back then also got that Annual. Go to a library and ask them to check the Union List of Serials for the nearest library with it. Of course, you can always go to their Archive outside of Chicago and view it there, as well as dozens of images that have not been published. View the links on their site such as ‘Archive’ at: www.historictheatres.org

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on February 25, 2006 at 4:02 am

Warren—

That’s a superb photo of the screen and proscenium. I doubt that the movie projection was smaller than the tv projection— Since the Paramount did not have Magnascope, I can only imagine that the screen size and masking were not adjustable and hence remained the same for both formats.

The photo is terrific for the details in the orchestra pit. On the left and right sides we see the tops of the curtained portals through which, when the pit rose to stage level, the headline stars entered and exited for their numbers. To the left of the pit stands the mighty organ. Great stuff.

ebgerber
ebgerber on February 24, 2006 at 7:54 pm

Hi all,

Does anyone know where I might find photos of the mirrors that hung in the Paramount?

—Emily

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 8, 2006 at 5:40 am

I wonder if Petrillo held any bitterness towards Eddie Deezen! Not that Deezen’s film career ever really “took off”, but his very Lewis-like persona led him from parts in movies like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “1941” to long term voice-over animation gigs such as his run on the very amusing “Dexter’s Laboratory” as Dexter’s nemesis, Mandark.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 8, 2006 at 4:20 am

Paramount didn’t sue, but Hal Wallis (who had M&L under contract) threatened to. Dean could have cared less, but Jerry was a bit annoyed. After all, he had spotted Petrillo on the street in New York and hired him to play his son in a Colgate Comedy Hour sketch!

In the early 80’s when he was promoting his auto-biography, Jerry appeared on the Today Show. Bryant Gumbel tells Jerry that “we dug into the vaults and have some vintage footage.” What’s the first clip you see? Eddie Cantor with…Sammy Petrillo! Jerry laughed and said that not only did he never do a comedy sketch with Cantor, but he was “never quite that good looking!”

I met Petrillo about ten years ago when he was doing a comedy act in New York. A nice man, although somewhat bitter that his career never quite took off.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 7, 2006 at 1:47 pm

Anyone remember that truly awful flick “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla” that featured third-rate M&L impersonators Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo? It’s amazing to me that Paramount didn’t sue… or did they? The movie was made for all of about $15 bucks and $5 of that went to secure Lugosi (in the last film he made before hooking up with Z-movie icon Ed Wood).

Patsy
Patsy on February 7, 2006 at 7:31 am

Bob: “Why don’t these "tribute artists” ever impersonate a celebrity in their prime?“ I agree, as the Lucy impersonator for the Lucy Festival in Jamestown NY is a youthful Lucy from the I Love Lucy days. (www.lucy-desi.com)

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 7, 2006 at 6:24 am

I understand, I just couldn’t figure out the reason for links to a Dean Martin fan club as well as Dean Martin day in Steubenville.

By the way, what the heck happened to Steubenville? The parade photos are quite surprising: boarded up stores and a “celebrity” roster consisting of a really bad Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley impersonators. At least Dean’s daughter was there, but she was promoting a book.

And the Dean Martin look-a-like(?) performing in the high school auditorium is doing the older Dean with the large oversized Robert Mitchum glasses. Why don’t these “tribute artists” ever impersonate a celebrity in their prime?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 6, 2006 at 6:29 pm

Bob… I think it’s fair to say that Martin &Lewis have a very strong connection to the Paramount. Just as Sinatra does. Sure they played other stages in New York, but I think the image most of us have in our minds when thinking of M&L in New York is of their antics from the dressing room window and the mob scene below on W. 44th Street.

Patsy
Patsy on February 6, 2006 at 2:33 pm

Ok, perhaps mention of M&L are on those CT theatre links, too. The Roxy is gone, but what about the Capitol and Loew’s State? The Loew’s in Atlanta is gone and that is where Gone With The Wind was premiered.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 6, 2006 at 10:44 am

But they also played the Capitol, Roxy and Loew’s State in New York City…

Patsy
Patsy on February 6, 2006 at 10:36 am

Bob: It all started with my reading Dean and Me which mentioned that M&L performed on stage at the Paramount during the Martin & Lewis years. Subsequently, there have been previous posts that mention M&L at the Paramount Theatre.

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on February 6, 2006 at 10:26 am

Patsy; I enjoy Dean as much as the next person, but what does this have to do with the Paramount Theatre?

Patsy
Patsy on February 6, 2006 at 10:21 am

http://www.deanmartinfancenter.com/ This site has many M&L photos/information. And for those who are fans of Dean Martin there is a Dean Martin Festival in Steubenville Ohio (June 16-18). His daughter, Deana Martin is involved with the festival and wrote a book entitled, Memories are Made of This.

Patsy
Patsy on February 6, 2006 at 8:35 am

Warren: Great photo! I can only imagine how beautiful the Paramount was in its heyday!