Paramount Theatre

827 S. White Station Road,
Memphis, TN 38138

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Paramount Theatre

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The opening of the Paramount Theatre in the Eastgate Shopping Center took place on November 19, 1964. The new ABC-Paramount showplace began as a single screen theatre with 858 seats in its gold-draped, curtain wall auditorium. Like most ABC theatres of the period, it was designed by architect Henry George Greene, who attended the opening. The widescreen, large format cinematography, 70mm Todd-AO, 6-track stereophonic sound, music filled soundtrack, presentation of “The Sound of Music” was shown as a reserved seat ‘roadshow’ engagement at this theatre. It started on April 7, 1965 and played for 79 weeks! That’s over a year and a half.

The theatre was later twinned and closed in 1990. No trace remains except a lone photograph.

Contributed by eS, Vincent Astor

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Ripshin on May 25, 2010 at 1:36 am

I spoke with my friend who attended “The Empire Strikes Back” premiere back in May of 1980, at the Paramount, and he agrees that it was a single screen at that time. Also, there WAS some 60s uniqueness to its design, and it had a great sign.

PineCabn on February 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” at the Park Theatre during it’s original run. It was in 70 MM and the film kept breaking. I was given a pass to return…management attributed the breakage to a mis-aligned film gate.

obitguy on February 1, 2012 at 4:28 am

Like most Memphians in the 60s, this was where we saw “The Sound of Music.” “Ice Station Zebra” played there a long time also. Two buddies and I snuck out of Central High to go to the first showing of “The Exorcist.” David forged a note from his mom about a doctor’s appointment. He then ran to a pay phone by the Methodist Hospital. Bruce and I then went separately to the principle’s office and told them we were sick. We called the payphone and David passed himself off as our mothers to the lady in the office. We caught a bus out east and got into the first showing. My last memory of the Paramount was seeing the lousy Led Zeppelin concert movie “The Song Remains the Same.” There was a Shoney’s next to the theater I remember seeing a group of old diners looking on in horror at all of us “long haired hippies” lined up to see the movie.

egollie on September 24, 2012 at 6:32 am

Does anyone remember seeing the movie “The Late Great Planet Earth” at the Paramount? I saw it but can’t remember when it was actually shown there. Thank you for any help in this matter.

Ripshin on September 25, 2012 at 4:13 am

IMDb says January 1979, was the release date.

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the Paramount. With a reserved-seat run of 79 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?)

Ripshin on April 8, 2015 at 4:01 am

How, starting in 1965, did a 79 week reserved-seat run work? How were seats reserved?

Chris1982 on April 8, 2015 at 7:28 am

In 1965 it was known as a hard tiucket run. Tickets were printed on a light cardboard for each seat for each performance. You could buy your tickets in advance or at the box office for each performance. The box office had a print of the theatre seating and you could select yours seats if they were available. They also had mail orders for reserved seats at that time. You could choose your seats and give alternate locations. There were mail order forms, sometimes in the newspapers or you could pick them up at the theatre box office.

Ripshin on April 9, 2015 at 12:17 am

Actually, it was most likely The Park where I saw “Empire.” They had the exclusive 70mm showing there, and I saw it on opening day, first morning show, with FIVE people!! (Guess not a huge “Star Wars” base in Memphis…)

lkayc on December 16, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Yes, Empire was at the Park. The first run of Star Wars was at the Paramount, but the theater had been split into by that time. The line was stretched to the back of the building by the time I arrived. They’d not expected crowds of that sort. There wasn’t enough time for people to buy popcorn going in; consession workers were carrying boxes of popcorn up and down the aisle.

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