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 27 comments)

Ripshin
Ripshin on September 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

IMDb says January 1979, was the release date.

Coate
Coate on April 7, 2015 at 2:19 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
Ripshin on April 7, 2015 at 8:01 pm

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

Chris1982
Chris1982 on April 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm

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
Ripshin on April 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

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
lkayc on December 16, 2015 at 11:47 am

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.

staylor066
staylor066 on July 23, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I saw the 1980 Popeye movie starring Robin Williams at this theater when I was 6. I also saw Empire Strikes Back at Park, had to sit in my Dad’s lap near the back row because no seats were available at the night viewing we went to. We must’ve went opening night.

JAlex
JAlex on July 24, 2017 at 8:14 am

A few of the comments refer to this theatre as the Park. When did the name change occur?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

JAlex: I think the comments were just making reference to this Park Theatre on Park Avenue. The Paramount was always called the Paramount.

Ripshin
Ripshin on July 24, 2017 at 8:14 pm

I was saying that I had the wrong theater, in regards to the “Empire” release. I realize that they are two different theaters.

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