Paramount Theatre

827 S. White Station Road,
Memphis, TN 38138

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Ripshin on April 8, 2015 at 6:17 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…)

Chris1982 on April 8, 2015 at 1:28 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 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm

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

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 4:19 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 September 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

IMDb says January 1979, was the release date.

egollie on September 24, 2012 at 12:32 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.

obitguy on January 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm

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.

PineCabn on February 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

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.

Ripshin on May 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm

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.

TLSLOEWS on February 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Another PARAMOUNT check out the PARAMOUNT Nashville, Tennessee on C.T.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

According to Boxoffice Magazine, November 30, 1964, the opening of the Paramount in Eastgate Shopping Center had taken place on November 19. The new ABC-Paramount showplace began as single-screener with 858 seats in its gold-draped, curtain wall auditorium. Like most ABC theaters of the period, it was designed by architect Henry G. Greene, who attended the opening.

Ripshin on March 30, 2009 at 12:17 am

I could have sworn that I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” there in 1980, on a single large screen. It was the largest screen showing the film.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 18, 2008 at 6:08 pm

The widescreen, large-format cinematography,70mm TODD-AO, 6 track sterephonic sound, music filled soundtrack, presentation of “The Sound of Music” was shown as a reseved seat “roadshow” engagemement at this theater. It started on April 7, 1965 and played for 79 WEEKS! That’s over a year and a half!

“The hills are alive with the sound of music.” Oscar Hammerstein II 1895-1960

gspragin on July 23, 2007 at 9:17 pm

I saw the “Sound of Music” in the early ‘60s at the Paramount. Later, I stood in a long line to see “The Exorcist” in 1973. I was too young to get in without a parent. My mother and I had nightmares for years…

PineCabn on April 25, 2006 at 8:58 am

The Paramount opened early 60s I believe. I do know that it was specially fitted with a curved screen for the pseudo Cinerama road showing of “2001 A Space Odyssey”

Backseater on October 7, 2005 at 7:45 pm

Update: the one I mention above as the “Colonial” may actually have been the Whitehaven Twin, a 1950s-era free-standing single screen, later twinned. It was on the East side of Elvis Presley Blvd but a mile or two North of Graceland. There was also the Bristol on Summer Avenue a little bit West of Highland, just North of I-40, demolished in the late 1970s. It was said to have been built when Summer Avenue was still called the “Bristol Highway.”

Backseater on October 5, 2005 at 10:02 pm

Point taken. I still believe the name change was a cheap trick, but I agree that this is not the most appropriate forum for the subject, so I apologize and will try to give it a rest. Meanwhile, this is a great site, and my most sincere compliments and appreciation to those who set it up. Now as for Memphis theaters—how about the Rosemary at Jackson and Watkins (replaced by a First Tennessee Bank which later also folded), the Princess on Main Street just North of the Malco/Orpheum, the Crosstown on Cleveland near North Parkway (Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall), the Luciann on Summer just East of Trezevant (Porno/Bowling Alley), the Suzor #2 on Jackson Avenue in “Hurt Village” where Elvis used to go when he lived in the Projects (closed but still standing as late as 1981), the Fare 4 (later 10) at Summer and White Station, the Strand right next to Loew’s State on South Main, the Southbrook multiplex in Southbrook mall, The Colonial (? could be wrong on the name) just North of Graceland on Elvis Presley Blvd/Highway 51 in Whitehaven, and the Southaven multiplex just across the line in Mississippi—plus a couple of other indoors and several drive-ins whose names even I can’t remember? So many theaters, so little time…. Best wishes, good luck and good counting to all. W.H. Wingo, Southwestern at Memphis/“Rhodes College” class of 1967.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 4, 2005 at 8:03 am

WHW: ahh, what’s in a name? Southwestern or Rhodes, it’s still a jewel architecturally and a fine fine academic institution. I lived right behind the campus when I worked at the Orpheum (formerly the Malco). Memphis may have many problems, but your old Alma Mater is one of the brighter spots.

Backseater on October 4, 2005 at 5:33 am

Saw the original “Star Wars” and “Alien” there in the late 1970s.

Backseater on October 1, 2005 at 5:29 pm

It opened before 1969: it was open while I was attending “Rhodes College” (—gag—) 1963-67, and “The Sound of Music” played there for nearly 2 years during that time (but I didn’t go). I think it was still a single screen when I got back from the AF in 1973, but was twinned shortly after that. A typical post-WWII shopping mall-airplane hangar house. Demolished and replaced by a Stein-Mart last I heard.

JackCoursey on August 13, 2005 at 8:08 pm

I show a listing in the IMPA 1988 59 edition for a Paramount Theatre at 827 White Station Rd, Memphis 38138. I think that the theatre opened in 1969 and was twined during the 1970s. I do not know if the building still remains or if it was demolished after its closing in the early 1990s.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on August 12, 2005 at 6:24 pm

Closed and torn down in 1990 I believe. It was operated by MALCO and had been twinned. There was nothing much to say about it. It was a plain, somewhat barn-like, suburban hall.