Paramount Theater

1700 Main Street,
Springfield, MA 1103

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paramount becomes hippodrome

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Built in 1926, at a cost of over $1 million, the Paramount Theater, was the most ornate theate in Western Massachusetts in its glory days as a picture palace.

It remained a movie theater until the 1960’s when it began to find sporadic use as a mixed center for movies, concerts and live performances. The theater was also once run by Western Massachusetts Theatres which at one time owned almost all of the single screen palaces in the area including the Rivoli, Calvin, bing, and others.

It was not until 1999 that the theater had a stable operator again, when it was purchased, restored, and converted into a lavish night club and performace space. The main floors seats were removed, but the 1,100 balcony seats were retained and restored. The theater underwent a $1.3 million makeover and was reopened as the Hippodrome Theater. The original organ is due to be restored in the future and the marquee was also been changed to reflect the new name.

The Hippodrome Theater, after years of sitting alone as Springfield continued to wither, is back. In 2009, it was renamed Paramount Theater and is under renovation. It reopened April 7, 2010 after renovations and the installation of a new sprinkler system.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

spectrum
spectrum on April 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

The paramount is reopening! First event will be April 7, 2010, and more are on their calendar!

JustinMarsh
JustinMarsh on June 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

“As Springfield continued to wither..?” Has the author of this write-up visited Springfield in the past half decade or so? The opposite of “withering” is currently occurring in Metro Center Springfield.

With all of the new arts and entertainment organizations that have formed in Springfield within the past few years (Apremont Arts jumps immediately to mind;) and all of the bohemians, LGBT residents, and empty-nesters who have recently moved to Metro Center condominiums, in my opinion, this city is likely to “take off” within the next few years (especially in light of the billions of dollars in infrastructure, medical, entertainment, and medical construction.)

As to the Paramount, it was recently purchased by Herbie Flores' Farmer Workers' Council – a group interested in bringing more arts to Springfield. Currently, the former Hippodrome is being renovated to the tune of $1.725 million. According to Mr. Flores, the Paramount will continue to host movies and concerts, but will also feature a new coffeehouse and upscale Spanish restaurant.

I realize that a lot of people who haven’t been to Springfield recently probably do not understand or know much about the renaissance currently underway in the city; however, in my opinion, many will likely know soon.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

This opened on September 29th, 1929. The grand opening ad is uploaded in the photo section.

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on January 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Any word on any progress at this theater? I see that it was sold last summer but I can’t find any information about any renovations or plans to reopen.

I remember seeing Santana her in the 1980’s. I also saw Taj Mahal, who is from Springfieldat the Paramount.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

Described in this 1929 trade article: archive

spectrum
spectrum on August 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

WGGB website has an August 6 2012 article with the latest on the Paramount here:

http://www.wggb.com/2012/08/06/springfields-paramount-theater-to-undergo-renovations/

It looks like it is currently closed. Bought in 2011 by the Farm Worker’s Council. The Council is proposing a $36,000,000 renovation to reopen it as an entertainment venue, with construction hoprfully to start Spring 2013.

No mention of how much fundraising still needs to be done. At least it has already had a lot of renovations recently. Looking forward to hearing more news on progress.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

spectrum: It is still open with live concerts listed on their Facebook page.

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