Paramount Theatre

560 Bay Street,
Staten Island, NY 10304

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Showing 201 - 225 of 239 comments

OldSchool on May 22, 2005 at 11:16 am

My mother once took me to the Paramount to see a “Planet of the Apes” Marathon. All five movies back to back. Does anyone remember that. We actually sat in that great balcony for all five movies. (Ok . we arrived late for the first show) Am I the only person who witnessed this. It was in the late 70’s. I was young so I kind of remember the lower level being somewhat cavernous. I once went to see a movie called Grizzly there. The theater was packed. I kind of remember there being support beams that obstructed some views of the screen. Am I correct?

Vito on May 12, 2005 at 7:16 am

While the St.George was under going the first attempt at restoration, we asked the new owner of the Paramount if we could salvage anything to use, he said we could have anything we wanted, but sadly their was little left that had not been either destroyed or removed. I took four marquee letters which spell out my name. It was like visiting a graveyard, I remember standing on the stage looking towards the balcony and remembering what it once was, it was one of the most depressing days of my life.

Garth on May 11, 2005 at 7:23 pm

i can confirm mp775’s earlier comment about the work order posted on the theatre , it is valid thru september. a local business owner told me the owner of the property is going ahead with plans to convert the site to condos/apartments.

Garth on March 17, 2005 at 3:16 pm

well said vito, very sad. also, thank you for your wisdom regarding these s.i. theatres.

Vito on March 17, 2005 at 3:09 pm

Gee TC what a sad picture that is. Does anyone have the great 1940s photo posted in the Advance a while back.

350S10 on September 21, 2004 at 11:55 pm

I’m a Historic Preservation Student. My sole project this semester is to preserve a building in my community. As u can tell I’ve chosen the Paramount and I’m looking for any information about the building that could help (ie. of construction and impact on the community). In regards to the construction permits on the building they really don’t mean anything if the building gets landmarked asap so dont despair. Thanks in advance for any info.

Garth on September 14, 2004 at 8:21 pm

someone has already bought the building,and from what i have read in the s.i. advance that person will not use it as an entertainment forum, i believe townhouses and retail shops are his plan.

Jean on September 14, 2004 at 7:51 pm

Though I believe it is too late to save this theatre, I will try contacting someone who may live near there in order to get the realty office phone number for you. Otherwise, try contacting Vito above. He may be able to get the phone number for you.

paulpaul on September 14, 2004 at 6:03 pm

Hello everyone, i want to see this building restored. To go there and see indie film showings and local bands play would realy be a site. i need more information regarding this building, im looking to buy it, anybody suggest specific ideas ?

Vito on August 31, 2004 at 12:37 pm

Log on to St George/theaters/1864/
There is a movement to bring movies to the St George

RobertR on August 31, 2004 at 10:42 am

It’s too bad this could not be saved as an all purpose theatre. Since the owners of The St George seem adamant about never running movies, a venue like this could get alot of publicity. The Suffern and Loews Jersey City do well with sporadic classic nights.

Vito on August 31, 2004 at 10:15 am

When I worked the Paramount, we kept the balcony closed during mid-week in order to save costs. We avoided some usher staff as well as additional cleaning crew. At least once a night I was asked tp patroll the balcony to be sure no one sneaked up there but when I found someone up there, and I did, I would let them be as long as they were well behaved and carried their trash with them when they left. My manager, Mr.Johns, was very understanding about it as well.
His biggest concern was stuff thrown down to the orchestra level, as well as people being snuck in thru the balcony door leading to the stairway down to the street. There were 500 seats in the balcony.
All the seats were replaced in 1961 when the theatre was refurbished.
Fresh paint was applied as well as some but not all new carpet.The theatre reopened with “Flower Drum Song”.

Garth on August 20, 2004 at 7:43 pm

i remember the balcony was always closed,when i would attend matinees as a teen. my dad took my brothers and i to an evening showing of the clint eastwood flick “high plains drifter” ,for once the balcony was open, and it was magnificent!they also always had a second feature.

Vito on August 12, 2004 at 7:04 am

I would agree with Garth, I do not recall the Paramount ever being used as an adult theatre, however during the time it ran as a nightclub some 16mm adult films were shown from time to time.
I remember a halloween screening of “Rocky Horror Picture” Show"
in 16mm was also held.

Garth on August 11, 2004 at 8:52 pm

the theatre never became an adult movie house. the owners were going ahead with that plan, but when the news hit the local paper, community opposition was too strong.the owners relented, and closed the theatre.

Vito on July 21, 2004 at 12:28 pm

Holmes, I think the ship has sailed on that.
The Paramount sat for several years with no one interested in saving it, and now someone has purchased the building who has no interest at all in keping it as a theatre…. no interest at all
I have difficulty even driving by, it’s just too sad

sholmes202 on July 21, 2004 at 11:21 am

Is there no way to save the old girl? restore her and perhaps even add a film school and book store. Do we NEED more high rises on the Island?

Eddie on June 22, 2004 at 9:17 am

I was born in Rosebank in 1924. As a kid we would take the trolleycar down to Stapelton or St. George
to see a movie and 5 acts of vaudville, plus Don
Baker at the organ! What wonderful memories I have
of those days. I now live in Pennsylvania (Yardley)
but my parents and brother are buried on the Island,
so I do get back every once in a while. It makes me
sad to see how the Island has deteriorated over the
course of my lifetime. I’m glad I lived in the “glory
days” even though the country was in a depression.

Does anyone remember the name of the ice cream
parlor that was a few doors from the Paramount on
Bay St? It was wonderful to go there after attend-
ing the movies. Wish I could turn back the hands of

Vito on May 14, 2004 at 7:30 am

I guess it’s really over. I won’t want to even drive by the old girl while they destroy her

mp775 on May 13, 2004 at 12:50 pm

Work permits are posted on the door for removal of non-loadbearing partitions, removal of plaster ceiling, and leveling of floor slab.

Vito on March 22, 2004 at 6:50 am

The Paramount was of course part of the Fabian circuit, along with St. George, Ritz, Liberty and SI Drive in, in the final years UA ran it for a while.

Vito on March 21, 2004 at 6:45 am

Yes the people running the Paramount at that time were very respectful of her. The father of a relative of mine ran the light shows. I visited a few times during rehersals etc and remember how excited the guys running the theatre were when they were able to get the marguee to light up, it was a fun to see. Unfortunatly they went out of business and new people rented the theatre and wreaked the place, taking out seats,painting everything black,destroying light fixtures etc.

avkarr on March 20, 2004 at 10:42 pm

In 1982 I saw a performance by a British rock group of some note,
XTC at this site. Notable because the leader developed a paranoia towards live performing and was one of their few Stateside jaunts. I was not appreciative of the history of this movie house at the time but I can say that I remember 1) it was a pain to park in the area but 2) the theatre was well kept and the bathroom was (to my delight) very clean.

Vito on February 3, 2004 at 7:37 am

The posting by p7350 brought back memories, I worked as an usher during the during the engaement of House On Haunted hill run and we were posted in front of the cage to prevent anyone from jumping up and touching the cage that housed the skelton which flew across the theatre up to the balcony during the movie, (what fun) The theatre did close for a time in 1962 and was reopened with refurbished seats and a new look to thew lobby was also completed. The opening movie was indead “Flower Drum Song” I remember how proud and excited we all were that day. Thanks for the memory of that.“))