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Back in the 1970s, the Paradise showed “The Black Windmill”, “Star Wars”, and Chinese martial-arts films.
I’m a student at the UPRRP and I am interested on making a student interdisciplinary project for the restoration and reopening of the Paradise. There has been multiple plans of restoration and architectural plans of renovation have been made, so the possibilities of opening the Paradise are higher than they seem. I am planning on making this proposal part of a full creative investigation. If you are a student of the UPRRP, from any faculty, and are interested on a project that could save Rio Piedras please contact me:
P.S. right now the Paradise functions as an “private” parking spot (the structure, I believe, belongs to the government, but the access to it is private). I will upload recent photos.
Soy estudiante en la UPRRP y me interesa iniciar un proyecto estudiantil interdisciplinario para la restauración y reapertura del Paradise. Se han hecho múltiples intentos para hacerlo, y se han llegado a presentar planos de remodelación, así que creo que es posible. Pienso hacer la propuesta como parte de una investigación. Si son estudiantes de la UPRRP, de cualquier facultad, interesados en un proyecto para salvaguardar Rio Piedras por favor contáctese conmigo:
P.D. actualmente el Paradise está siendo utilizado como estacionamiento “privado” (la estructura le pertenece al gobierno tengo entendido, pero el acceso es privado). Pondré fotos actuales.
I seem to recall some plans for renovation during an architecture festival the tourism company did a few years ago but nothing ever came out of it. The Main building itself it’s closed to the public, however there’s an opening nearby that people use to exhibit movies.
I am doing a documentary about Cine Roosevelt. If you have any memorabilia or information about Teatros Cobian, the original owners of the cinema, please contact me at
I believe that, along with the nearby New Victoria, the Paradise was a Wometco Commonwealth theater at one time. And, yes, it was great that both venues offered reduced ticket prices to students with IDs.
thanks, if you can, add me.
PS: Love your Flicker Photostream, Davsot.
If I remember correctly, in the 60s Rio Piedras had the Paradise (Cobian), Modelo (a Llamas theater) and Cobian’s New Victoria, the remodeled old Victoria which the interior was decorated as the newly remodeled Puerto Rico in Santurce nd played day-and-date with Santurce theaters. I don’t remember any other theaters in Rio Piedras. I don’t know what to tell you. If they destroyed the Paramount, except for the facade, then they can do the same with the Paradise. I really don’t know what to tell you. Sorry. Have a good night, Davsot.
I was thinking it’s better if they tear it down and rebuild it from scratch. All they can preserve is the sign, no point in letting that space go to waste. They can build a really nice theater in the heart of a historic district. Let me know what you think.
It was a long narrow theater. I went a lot when I was at UPR and lived at the Darlington. Saw it in January and looks as awful as in the Jan. 19 pics. Well, they were taken a few days after I passed by the theater. What a shame!
Fotos de Diana Campos
Historical Facts on the Paradise: Inagurated on December 12, 1945 it was a Cobian Theater marketed during the Inauguration as “The best in the Antilles” and also “As good as the Paramount”. Capacity was 1200 seats and it had a Mezzannine.
Inaugural show was “Rhapsody in Blue”
Antecedents: at the begining of the Century (1912) there was a Teatro Nuevo located at the same address which featured silent movies.
Last December 2005 Rio Piedras, (in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of its inauguration); the town where it is located celebrated a “Night for the Paradise”. There were several activities at the libraries around the area, conferences on the history of Rio Piedras Theaters, presentations of the rennovation plans, the street was closed and a genuine town party happened. Music, food, artisans. The theater was opened, cleaned and illuminated. There is no roof, but in the walls we played Cinema Paradiso as a great metephor. It wwas a beautiful, almost magic cativity. People did not want to leave!
The restoration project for the Paradise has stalled, and the physical structure remains in the same condition it was in two or more years ago, although debris, weed growth, and unprotected access make it visually less appealing than when it was last cleaned in November 2005. The bare walls, raked cement floor, elevated screen/stage area, balcony that also covers what was the entrance-lobby-bathroom area, and the steel girders that supported the now absent roof appear to remain structurally intact. Thus, restoration work could probably begin with only minimal preparations on the site itself. Unfortunately, the funds once available through the Urban Train Development for restoration no longer exist or have been designated to other projects. The current issue revolves around how to restart the restoration process as a jointly sponsored Community-University of Puerto Rico project that benefits from both private and public funding. That new beginning is the current state of affairs of the Paradise. I have exterior photos of the Paradise, but I will send new exterior and interior photos within the next two or three days.
Last month a concert by local musician was held to benefit the remodeling of the Paradise. It’s good to see that people are becoming aware of the importance of saving these theaters. Too bad that it took the destruction of the wonderful Riviera theater to make people realize that.
Arq.Miguel Carlo have the drawings ready for the restoring' there is a group of neigborgs of Rio Piedra that wan to take care of it as a live theater,movie house and video.Since the other RP theater are closed or desapear this is the only one in the community. Others are Lux theater that desapear,New Victoria in a very bad shape and Modelo that became a store.
This is a collage which includes a poor quality and unflatering picture of the Paradise since it is currently being renovated…
I would like to recieve deeper coverage, more information, and historical facts about The Paradise.
Wonderful! Next time I am in the area I will stop by for a look.
Will this be a movie theater or lecture hall?
The goverment is in fase 1 of the renovation process. With all the area of Rio Piedras is in remodeling the goverment decide to restore the Paradise. Hope to see this one again.