Paramount Theatre

30 Center Street,
Rutland, VT 05701

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Paramount Theatre down the block, circa 1955. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Land Facebook page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This beautiful downtown vaudeville playhouse built in 1913-14, originally seating 1,000 has been almost completely restored.

Originally, the town of Rutland sat on the rail line connecting Boston and Montreal, and was a benefactor from the top name talent that would stop to play this house while making the trip.

When built, this venue was said to have been one of the finest in the country.

It was used as a movie theater as part of the Paramount New England chain from the 1930’s thru the late-1970’s, when it ultimately closed and fell into disrepair, until a community grass-roots campaign spent 10 years during the 1990’s raising the funds to buy the building and restore it to opening day splendor.

The restored building initially had no projection equipment and was exclusively used for live performances.

The theater had many innovations for the day. Interestingly, the theatre was essentially considered fireproof, including the original Dubarry rose tapestry that covered the sidewalls. (The tapestry fabric has been remade for the renovation by a New York company, matched to original.) The building also had automatic sprinklers installed as an original feature.

It was sold and converted to the Paramount Theatre when the New England Paramount chain bought the theatre to add to the growing circuit in 1931.

Contributed by Aaron Bennet

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

richardg
richardg on February 21, 2004 at 2:15 pm

A beautiful theatre which after many years I finally got see inside.
I first discovered the Rutland in 1989. It was closed and so was the other theatre (see Strand, Rutland Vt., which I’ll submit after completing this comment) around the corner. The downtown area of Rutland at this time was bleak but it looked like things were beginning to happen. A walkway behind the theatre had been gussied up with interlock and old style street lights installed. The day I was there no one was around except two “kids” trying out their skateboards on the new interlock. The rebirth of the Paramount and the opening of much previously empty retail space has brought life back to downtown Rutland. Unfortunately, a tight restoration budget forced the Paramount to skimp on air conditioning. A Rutland native told me the theatre has no air conditioning and he attends no summertime functions. Well, I’m sure eventually the air will be up and blowing.

joemasher
joemasher on May 3, 2005 at 1:42 am

In its final years as a movie house, this theatre was simply called “The Movies”. The Grand Theatre, located a block away, finished its days as a moviehouse known as “Movieland”. Both were operated by Cinema North, which currently has the Plaza 9 in Rutland and the Westway 4 in West Rutland.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 21, 2007 at 4:37 am

In the 1942-43 edition of the Motion Picture Almanac, there is a long list of theatre circuits in the US and Canada. The Paramount in Rutland is listed under the M&P Circuit (Mullin & Pananski) of Boston, which was affiliated with Paramount. According to the list, M&P controlled 5 theatres in Vermont, the Paramount, Grand and Strand in Rutland, and the Paramount and Magnet in Barre.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on July 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Saw this theatre last week on a cycling trip. Great downtown and the theatre fits right in with all the filled up storefronts. The Indigo Girls were playing the night I was leaving.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

What goes around comes around,Movies again at the PARAMOUNT.

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on May 28, 2010 at 8:27 am

I attended a show at the Paramount last year. It is absolutely beautiful!

DonLewis
DonLewis on August 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

From the 1940s a photo postcard view of downtown Rutland along with the Paramount Theatre on Center Street.

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