Paramount Theatre

211 N. Queen Street,
Kinston, NC 28501

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Paramount Theatre Before and After

Located in downtown Kinston on Queen Street, the Grand Theatre was opened in 1915. In the early-1930’s it was taken over by Paramount pictures In. and operated through their subsidiary Wilby-Kincy. It was renamed Paramount Theatre.

The Paramount Theatre was damaged by fire in the late-1940’s and was restored and remodeled to the plans of architect A. Mitchell Wooten. The Paramount Theatre was later transformed into a nightclub, the Paramount City Lounge, which closed in 2013. It reopened as the Platinum nightclub in 2014, but was closed in January 2015.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

canibfrankwithyou on September 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

I was involved in the installation of the projection & sound equipment of the new “Mall Cinema” single screen also owned by Stewart&Everett chain. (1969) Don’t remember the seating capacity but the building was of similar style as the Pitt Plaza Cinema in Greenville, N.C. This was also my first installation as an apprentice technician.

canibfrankwithyou on September 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

During the 60’s and 70’s the “Paramount” was operated as a single screen under the Stewart&Everett banner.

NightHawk1 on December 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

In the mid-1970s the Paramount ran R-rated “B” movies and charged ninety-nine cents adult admission. Downtown Kinston was declining due to competition from shopping centers, and the Paramount could not compete with the suburban theatres as a first-run house. Stewart & Everett went to second-run and “B” films to keep the Paramount going. After S&E picked up a defunct theatre at Kinston Plaza and re-opened it as the Plaza Cinema in 1975, the jig was up for the Paramount. S&E chose to close the Paramount rather than convert it into a pornhouse.

NightHawk1 on April 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

This theater was opened in 1915 as the Grand Theatre. Paramount Pictures (through Wilby-Kincey) took over the Grand in the early 1930s and renamed it the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount Theatre was damaged by fire in the late 1940s and subsequently remodeled.

NightHawk1 on December 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Paramount City Lounge has closed; its website is no longer functioning.

NightHawk1 on June 11, 2014 at 12:29 am

Kinston had at least two other downtown “white” theaters besides the Paramount. The Oasis Theatre was located at 106 South Queen Street and the building at 102 S. Queen Street may have been the Carolina Theatre. The Center Theatre also operated downtown, possibly an AKA for either the Oasis or the Carolina theaters.

NightHawk1 on September 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Another nightclub, the Platinum Club, has been operating in the former Paramount Theatre since the start of 2014; may have taken over the previous club (Paramount City Lounge) before then.

NightHawk1 on February 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm

The Platinum nightclub has been evicted from the former Paramount Theatre due to nonpayment of rent and frequent violence. The Paramount Theatre building is currently vacant.

DavidZornig on February 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Circa 1962 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

DavidZornig on August 21, 2018 at 7:47 am

Early Grand Theatre print ad image added via Jane Gradeless Phillips‎. Contains 4 photos.

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