Paramount Theatre

118 E. College Street,
Asheville, NC 28801

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rivest266 on August 21, 2016 at 5:08 am

June 9th, 1929 grand opening ad as Paramount as well as the Majestic grand opening from March 24th, 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

UNC’s Docsouth web site gives the old addresses for the theaters. The Majestic was on the corner of College and Market, with the old address of 28 E. College. The lot must have been renumbered 118, as the building next door to the east now has 120 on its front window, and the building next to that has 122 on the transom above its door.

Docsouth gives 30 E. College as the address of the second Princess Theatre, which it says was an African-American house operating approximately 1941-1947. It also gives 30 E. College as the address of the Paramount from about 1930-unknown. This address confusion is probably what made kencmcintyre think that the Majestic and Paramount were different theaters, but I’m sure they were the same house. Both the Majestic and the Paramount had about 1000 seats, according to Docsouth.

No seating capacity is given for the second Princess. It must have been at either 120 or 122 E. College by the modern numbering system. Old address 28 E. College has to be where the parking lot is now. Why Docsouth gives 30 E. College as the address of the Paramount I don’t know, but neither of the buildings east of the Majestic could possibly have held a theater of 1000 seats, or even the 750 the Paramount had in 1958.

I’m sure that the theater’s history given in the earlier comment by AHCJDR1912 (a grandchild of one of the theater’s architects) is accurate: located on the corner of College and Market; designed around 1912 by Carrier & Smith (Albert Heath Carrier and Richard Sharp Smith); opened as the Majestic; renamed the Paramount around 1930. The web site of the Biographical Dictionary of North Carolina Architects and Builders agrees.

The address for this theater should definitely be changed to 118 E. College Street. Google Street View is already fixed at the correct location, but could be panned left a bit (left click, hold and drag.)

Mikeoaklandpark on November 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

Chuck do you live here in Asheville?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

I think there’s something off about the photo used as the related web site in the description. The theater in the photo is obviously old, not from 1930, despite what its caption says, and it doesn’t have the name Paramount Theatre on it. There’s just a banner reading “Paramount Special.”

It’s possible that the theater in the photo wasn’t called the Paramount at all, but was merely advertising the 1920 Paramount release “Treasure Island” (the 1934 version of “Treasure Island” was an MGM production.) The photo probably dates from 1920, which means it probably doesn’t depict the Paramount or Majestic) Theatre at all, but another house that actually was at 26 College Street. This Paramount isn’t.

Some of the information in Jdr2010’s comment above is also on this web page about architect Albert Heath Carrier, provided by the North Carolina State University libraries. I think it’s safe to presume that it’s accurate.

Multiple sources say that the Majestic became the Paramount. The book Asheville: A Postcard History, by Sue Greenberg and Jan Kahn, gives the Majestic’s address as 118 ½ College Street, the same as the 1951 address of the Paramount.

Google Maps actually gets closer to the actual location of the theater (College and Market Streets) using the address 120 College Street than it does with the correct 118 ½ address. The address of 26 College currently listed fetches a spot several blocks away.

AHCJDR1912 on July 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

The Majestic Theater, at the corner of College and Market Streets in Asheville, was designed ca 1912 by Smith & Carrier, Architects, who had their offices on an upper floor. The Majestic Theater was initially operated by the Asheville Amusement Company, with major stockholders S. A. Lynch, A. H. Carrier, and W. M. Robertson (Carrier’s brother-in-law), and featured vaudeville acts as well as motion pictures. Carrier, my grandfather, had a window cut in his office wall so he could watch performances.

Smith & Carrier moved their offices to the Knight-Overland Building on College and Valley Streets shortly before the firm was dissolved on Smith’s death in 1924.

At some time between the 1920s and 1930s, ownership of the theater changed, and it was renamed the Paramount Theater, showing second-run films and on Saturday afternoons westerns (9 cents for children).

Patsy on May 28, 2007 at 9:33 am

Mark in NC: When in Asheville again, I shall visit College and look for the “you can make out the outline of the balcony on the one remaining wall that touches the building that was next door”.

kencmcintyre on May 28, 2007 at 9:26 am

Here are some photos of the Paramount and Majestic. Addresses are 26 and 28 College, so I think they are different theaters:

ncmark on February 1, 2007 at 2:45 pm

The Paramount was know as the Majestic in its early years.

ncmark on January 29, 2007 at 4:18 am

This theater stood at the corner of Market and College. Although it has been demolished you can make out the outline of the balcony on the one remaining wall that touches the building that was next door.

Patsy on April 14, 2006 at 10:57 am

Another parking lot another bank! Oh my ‘good'ness, but it’s not for the good of Asheville!

Mikeoaklandpark on February 21, 2006 at 9:59 am

You can update information on this theater. It was knocked down many years ago and is a parking lot for Asheville Savings Bank.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 4, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook’s edition 1941 and 1943 as having a seating capacity of 1,000 and operated by Paramount Pictures Inc through their subsidiary Carl Bamford. In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. a seating capacity of 759 is given.

The street address must have been re-numbered as in 1951 it is located at 118 ½ College Street.