Paramount Theatre

142 Federal Plaza West,
Youngstown, OH 44503

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rivest266
rivest266 on January 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Paramount grand opening ad July 19th, 1929 uploaded in the photo section.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on December 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

The pipes that remained in the photo above were removed about a year or so before demolition. I don’t know if the owner had them removed or if they were taken by scrappers.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on December 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

Unfortunately no attempt was made to remove the consul or any of the pipes before demolition began so far as I know. As to the pipes themselves most were long gone before demolition even began. The owner of the theater at the time, Rick Blackwell, showed me the organ in the 1980’s when he was trying to restore the theater, and what you see in the photo was just about all that was left then.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on December 14, 2013 at 1:11 am

Most pertinently to my own interests, did anybody make any attempt to remove what remained of the original Hilgreen-Lane pipe organ before the theatre was demolished? I’m sorry I first learned about the existence of this theatre and organ only one month ago… had I known of it two years ago (or even one year ago), I just might have tried to get a plane to Youngstown, get permission to remove the organ, taken it out and put it in a big 15' or 20' truck to take home. (If the organ still exists and is still available, let me know!)

Although definitely in bad shape judging from the photos (with many pipes missing, probably liberated by the “midnight organ supply” whom I hope are traceable local organbuilders/enthusiasts, since only a complete moron would try to loot old metal organ pipes which are a mixture of lead and tin and thus worth far more for musical and intrinsic purposes than recycling value), the organ does/did NOT appear to be unrestorable to me based upon the photos… my friend Robert Loeffler in Florida (Robert’s Musical Restorations) as well as other fine American restorers, have restored pianos and automatic musical instruments (including some pipe organs) in FAR WORSE shape than this, with many more parts missing.

The question is how much do you want to pay, and how much work are you willing to do in the restoration. (And somebody who really cares about the instruments, won’t give a damn about the additional cost of a good, proper restoration by a legitimate restorer, beyond the value added to the instrument, since they are in it for the music, not the money).

Also, a dedicated and determined amateur, with not a lot of money, can still restore almost anything provided that they CARE about the original instrument, research it thoroughly, obtain the correct restoration materials and use good techniques to avoid ruining the originality of the instrument.

This is really sad, a (previously-unknown?) remaining original-installation organ in a theatre, with the theatre demolished this year, in 2013!

I do hope some attempt was made to save this organ.

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on December 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

I have read most of the comments and it sounds like what has happened with this theatre and the town of Youngstown in general has been very sad. I would hope that, with what money and skills they have, the people of Youngstown would come together and get the town back on track to a great place instead of being doom and gloom and all depressed (I’m ignorant and generalizing here based upon stuff on the internet; I’ve never actually been to Youngstown).

But I do understand how hard it is to raise a huge amount of money to restore an old theatre, and also, once the theatre is restored, to open it and run it, whether as a performing arts venue, or art-house movie theatre, or what have you.

Were the folks who really cared about this place allowed to go in (with safety officials present for protection, of course) and pull out the remaining fixtures in the theatre (seats, lighting, props, etc. etc.) before the shell was demolished? Or did all remaining items go down with the theatre building?

JamesD
JamesD on July 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

That’s nice that all of the Youngstown theater stuff comes from you, but you still live in Youngstown, and while your city may be getting better, it still sucks.

Maybe the news will start using the Uptown Theatre as a backdrop now.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on July 9, 2013 at 9:10 am

First you double posted your message as stupid as it is. No I’m not jealous in the least. Most of the photos and messages about Youngstown theaters came from me, and don’t you forget it.

This building was a dangerous eyesore that was one of the most photographed buildings in downtown Youngstown, and every time the national news media came to town to cover a story, they used it as a backdrop.

Our city is making a major comeback that people didn’t think would ever happen, and this theater was an eyesore. It needed to go five years ago.

JamesD
JamesD on July 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

“Once this is done shutterbugs will no longer have this eyesore to photograph and put up on the internet, ”

Wow, someone sounds a bit jealous. I guess you never made it inside huh Wolfgirl?

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on July 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Demolition begins. See photo.

mcdonaldgirl
mcdonaldgirl on July 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm

thank you so much for all your hard work in providing pictures and information about all the theaters in Youngstown. Lots of conversation on facebook today about the demolition of the paramount. It’s too bad they could not save the façade.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on June 29, 2013 at 8:34 am

Finally, after years of doing nothing, work on demolishing the Paramount will begin July 8th and be completed sometime in September. Once this is done shutterbugs will no longer have this eyesore to photograph and put up on the internet, and while another parking lot is not my personal idea of what to do with the land, it will be better than what’s there right now.

The sad part about it is that it brings to a final conclusion an end to the pie in the sky schemes of the “arts dreamers” who have in the past come forward with all sorts of unfinanced ideas.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/jun/29/final-prep-begins-for-razing-theater/

Since all of the work will be done at night thus avoiding conflict with normal downtown business, the work should go relatively quickly.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on June 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

To be perfectly honest, we’ll be glad when it’s gone. Youngstown is making a major economic comeback thanks to the oil and gas industry, and with all the positive growth in the downtown area this eyesore has detracted from all the good things there far too long.

indyarchs
indyarchs on June 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Demolished by the City March 2013 http://www.abandonedonline.net/commercial/paramount-theatre/

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on April 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I recall Richard’s attempts, but unfortunately the city was no help to him when he applied for grants. Also saddly he couldn’t find enough volunteers to help him even clean up the theater.

I would like to document his efforts but need more exact dates since I haven’t the time to wade through hundreds of newspapers for 1984. I did run a quick Google but it was no help, and before I impose on our public library I hope someone can furnish me with dates. Our newspaper doesn’t index its articles so it isn’t any help.

Jimhome
Jimhome on April 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

In 1984 Mr. Richard Blackwell led a valiant charge to restore the theater but did not have enough $. Two events were held to my memory: A film on the history of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube, a concert by Black Oak Arkansas.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on January 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

There are many photos of the Paramount as it stands today, but precious few of the theater in its prime, so I found a photo of the main floor in the theaters prime. Hopefully someone else can uncover more photos like this one.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on November 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Soon the status of the Paramount might change once the bulk of the building is demolished but let the folks tell their story in their own words:

New plans for the Paramount.

http://paramountproject.org/mission.htm

The plans include movies so once the project is completed the status can be changed to “Open” and “Single Screen”.

WayneS
WayneS on November 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I noticed the pipes stacked at the back too. The console is also there up on the stage, so I suspect that was just the deconstruction crew moving them. The organ lofts are plainly visible on each side of the front seating area.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm

While doing research on another local theater, I came across an ad for the Liberty Cafateria in 1921 when the Paramount was still known as the Liberty, and according to the ad, the Liberty Cafateria was located in the basemant of the theater, and judging by the menu it served upscale food, and even had its own orchestra.

Because this restraunt was in the theater, I’ve placed a copy of the ad i the photos section for this theater.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 30, 2011 at 11:27 am

First a question. In the photos of the Paramount stage the pipe organ is situated up against the back wall as are the pipes. Now I know that the organ itself can be placed anywhere … down in the orchestra pit being an example, and having the pipes behind the screen would make it an ideal spot, but was the organ there from the beginning, or was it just moved there later on. If so, there must not have been much room left what with the large sound equipment that was also behind the screen.

Next, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the folks at Cinematreasures who have contributed to my better understanding of theaters, you’re great folks.

milanp
milanp on October 30, 2011 at 7:28 am

Thanks for the information, Wolfgirl. Much appreciated.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

The problem we have is that over the years there were a number of downtown theaters that came and went with no fanfare that we could locate other than ads on the theater pages of the Vindicator. These were in many cases theaters that ran films and did vaudville but didn’t last long, and only a very small number of them got any textual publicity.

Again, back to the Regent, it did have a nice marquee, and next to it was a radio repair shop. In the early 1960’s I worked at a store a few doors up from the Regent which by that time as I said was showing Spanish films.

wolfgirl500
wolfgirl500 on October 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm

It was torn down under urban renewal in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.

It wad located on East Federal between Walnut and Watt Streets. I was only in there once to see a picture. During its last years it was running Spanish pictures and the theater wsn’t in the best of shape, but for a small theater it had a large projection booth that was in good condition and well equipped.

As to seating capacity, I have no idea and wouldn’t want to speculate, but was most likely under 1000.

milanp
milanp on October 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hey Wolfgirl—I noticed a photo of the old Regent Theater on your photo page.
Any idea when it closed for good? Or its seating capacity? I could swear I saw a 1964 ad for the Regent in an old Vindicator clipping on the Palace’s C./T. page. Although I remember seeing movies at many of the downtown houses (the Palace, the State, the Warner, the Paramount) prior to ‘64 when I was very young, I have absolutely zero recollection of the Regent. Considering how (relatively) small downtown Youngstown is, it seems downright bizarre that I wouldn’t have at least seen the facade at one time or another.

WayneS
WayneS on September 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm

BTW, “September Storm” was released in 1960, and since it was not a roadshow, I imagined it showed at the Paramount on a first run basis in that year.