RKO Paramount Theater

928 East McMillan Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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The architect for the Paramount Theater was local architect Edward Schulte. The theater was built by Mrs. Wurlitzer, of the Wurlitzer Pipe Organ family who lived in Cincinnati. Some credit seems to be given to famed architect John Eberson for the interior design, however the Paramount Theater was not an Atmospheric style interior which Eberson was best known for.

Since Mrs. Wurlitzer had allied herself with the Publix Film Corporation as a film supplier for her Paramount it was unfortunate for her that Cincinnati was already an RKO (Radio Keith Orpheum) monopolized city. In essence she was frozen out of recieving any film product from Publix as they were not likely to challenge RKO. RKO approached Mrs. Wurlitzer and asked her if she would like them to manage her newly built Paramount Theater and what other choice did she have…a bit of dirty pool, eh?

Contributed by hanksykes

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

hanksykes
hanksykes on November 7, 2006 at 8:46 pm

The large Wurlitzer in the Paramount Theater was rescued prior to the theaters demolition and moved to a private residence in Clifton,which is a section of Cincinnati,where it is still played to entertainpeople today.The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ has been a focus of local ATOS meetings in prior years.

atmos
atmos on July 31, 2007 at 1:59 pm

The John Eberson archives at the Wolfsonian in Florida have at least two design drawings of this theatre dated 1930.

hanksykes
hanksykes on August 3, 2007 at 10:51 pm

Thank you atmos for confirming an Eberson fact I’ve never been able to substantitiate! The Paramount Th. had grand scale, but a department store budget for lobby furnishings. Meaning the lobby chairs and sofas where the scale used in a persons home which dwarfed them in this cinema setting. Until soon, Hank

hanksykes
hanksykes on December 8, 2007 at 9:25 pm

One more thing ,just learned,“The Publix Film Corporation”, was the title Paramount Studios always used for their film distribution unit.

meheuck
meheuck on August 9, 2010 at 8:49 am

On a whim, I typed the address into Google, and Google Earth Maps yielded this photograph:

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/6163970

Where would the Paramount have been? Where the CVS drugstore is now?

hanksykes
hanksykes on December 1, 2010 at 12:41 am

As best I can determine the Kroger parking lot,( across the street from the picture in the above post) was the footprint for The Paramount.

hanksykes
hanksykes on December 1, 2010 at 12:47 am

The attention getting vertical for Paramount was at the intersection of Gilbert Avenue and Mc Millian Street even thou the theater was nearly 200 feet from that sign. This was done to catch the eye of passing traffic which might have missed the cinema front located way down the block. Paramount vertical was located on the roof of what became wills pawn shop in later years. The 75 foot lighted vertical was removed during WW2 and donated to the scrap metal drive.

gorhamzoro
gorhamzoro on April 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I am a little confused about the post in 2006 stating that the Paramount organ was “rescued” and “moved to a private residence”. My brother and I purchased that organ and removed it to Louisville, KY, where we sold it out piece-meal. Anyone who wants to contact me in this regard can do so at

gorhamzoro
gorhamzoro on April 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Whoa! Stop! BIG ERROR! The organ I was referring to in the above posting was the Palace Theater, not the RKO Paramount Theater. Again, if anyone would like to contact me about this organ, feel free to e.mail me at

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