Paramount Theatre

145 N. County Road,
Palm Beach, FL 33480

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Paramount Theatre

Mediterranean Revival style theatre with two and a half stories, masonry, stuccoed, two and a half-story entrance, breezeway terrace. Designed as a complete cultural center that included theatre, residences, restaurant, shops, and offices. Opened on January 9, 1927 with Ronald Colman in “Beau Geste. There was a 16-piece orchestra to accompany the film and Emil Velazco played the ‘Mighty’ Wurlitzer organ. Seating was provided for 1,236 with 1,080 in the orchestra and 156 balcony box seats. The side walls of the auditorium were covered with 60ft wall to ceiling canvas murals of sea fishes designed by Joseph Urban’s daughter. In 1928 it was equipped for sound films. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Paramount Theatre was a center of live entertainment as well as films.

In 1948, it was remodeled by the architectural firm Kemp, Bunch & Jackson of Jacksonville, FL. In 1974 it was listed on the Register of Historic Places. It was closed on May 21, 1980 with Sissy Spacek in “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. In 1985 the interior was converted into two levels of office suites. The current Paramount Church occupies the former stage, screen area and orchestra pit of the former theatre. In 2001 they began screening old classic movies on the first Thursday of the month from December to May and also from 2008 Christian films are screened on the third Friday each month.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on April 28, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Yes, great photo! BTW, I never heard back from Beth Dunlop.

Patsy
Patsy on September 25, 2008 at 6:45 am

I just clicked on the name Joseph Urban and see that he also built 2 other large capacity theatres in NYC, but both of them have been demolished according to CT.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Very nice looking theatre.

rivest266
rivest266 on November 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

January 9th, 1927 grand opening ad has been posted here. Admission was $1.50-$2.00 ($18-$25) in today’s money. Palm Beach was an really expensive town at the time.

Patsy
Patsy on November 16, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Wish the Town of Palm Beach had preserved this historical theatre!

jalvar
jalvar on September 1, 2015 at 4:42 am

Urban was also the designer for Zigfield Follies and the Follies often rehersed in this theatre and did their preview performances here. He also was the architect for Maralago, the Merriwether Post estate in PB and spent a lot of time in the town. Pity its gone but with the competition of the Opera house it would be impossible to survive.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Another January 9th, 1927 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

January 26th, 1972 grand reopening ad also in photo section.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on October 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Click here to see an interesting segment from 2019 about the Paramount in the “History & Culture of the Palm Beaches” episode of the PBS program “On The Town in The Palm Beaches”.

As seen in the video Paramount Church occupies part of the building, with the Historic Paramount Photographic Exhibit in the former theater’s lobby as a tribute to the Paramount, the films that were screened there, and the celebrities that had visited, open to the public Monday through Friday 9am-4pm.

Click here for a detailed page on the church’s website about the Paramount’s history, its auditorium, film exhibition history, and more.

The church also hosts Paramount Theater Movie Classics, a series showing old movies also open to the public.

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