Paramount Theatre

518-520 Adams Street,
Toledo, OH 43604

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Paramount Theater...Toledo Ohio

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on the corner of Adams Street and Huron Street. The Paramount Theatre opened on February 16, 1929, with Richard Dix in “Redskin”. Seating was provided for 1,589 in the orchestra, 394 in the mezannine and 1,426 in the balcony. It was equipped with a 3 manual Wurlitzer pipe organ.

Designed in French Renaissance/Atmospheric style, it was one of only a handful of Atmospheric style theatres designed by the Chicago based architectural firm Rapp & Rapp. Although it was a beautiful theatre, the Paramount Theatre never fulfilled its potential, and for most of the time was a loss maker.

It was closed as a regular movie theatre on November 5, 1960 and was converted into a Cinerama theatre. It was closed on November 3, 1963 with “How the West Was Won”. The Toledo Paramount Theatre was demolished in September 1965. The site is now used for car parking.

Contributed by Ron Heberlee

Recent comments (view all 54 comments)

bdzmusicprod on January 25, 2011 at 2:53 am

I received a copy of the 1992 Theater Historical Society which is still available…check on Ebay. It is filled with archival photos from Rapp and Rapp. One can appreciate the beauty of this theater. As a child of nine I remember walking past the Paramount on the Huron St. side along with my mom and three siblings. I remember the tall vertical sign and was impressed. Never saw a movie there…probably too expensive for our family. The last time I remember seeing it was during the demolition phase…all that remained was the stage. A great loss for Toledo.

exwhiteway on June 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

The Wurlitzer was a 4-20 Publix 1 model, a deluxe setup with extra features reserved for upscale theatres. The elaborately embelished console rose from the pit on the left side of the stage on it’s own screw lift. The pipework was housed in two chambers on either side of the stage with a third percussion chamber on the left. The mallet percussions were large scale and quite loud, with a carousel-like timbre that filled the entire theatre and somewhat overpowered the speaking pipes which had a more refined voicing. The Virgil Howard recordings well document the unique sound of this fine Wurltizer setup.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on January 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Added some new pictures..Enjoy.

bdzmusicprod on February 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

This is a picture of Rapp and Rapp’s Gateway Theater in Chicago. It opened in June of 1930 and was the second of only two atmospheric theaters designed by Rapp and Rapp. The other being the Toledo Paramount Theater. The Gateway is still standing and can be viewed in Cinema treasures. This photo has often been mistaken as the Toledo Paramount but actually was not as ornate or as large as the Toledo Paramount. Sadly the Paramount in Toledo met with the wrecking ball in 1965.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Paramount Theatre in 1930.

atmos on July 20, 2012 at 3:18 am

The photo on this page is not what it says underneath.It is actually Eberson’s Riviera Theatre in Omaha,Nebraska which is now called Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on July 20, 2012 at 3:46 am

After looking at it you guys are right. I talked to a guy some years ago that worked for the company that demolished it. He was just out of the Army and it was his first job. He remembers it and he said it was shame they tore it down for a parking lot. But at that time there was a lot of movie screens in downtown Toledo and with the drive-ins. Thank God they saved the Valentine and restored it. At one time that was going to be demolished also.

LouRugani on September 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Rapp and Rapp also designed the atmospheric GATEWAY Theatre in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

rivest266 on February 1, 2014 at 6:35 am

February 16th, 1929 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section. also at

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on April 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Just uploaded two photos and ad from opening of “This is Cinerama.”

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