Paramount Theatre

5405 Hohman Avenue,
Hammond, IN 46320

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The Paramount Theatre opened around 1930, just a couple blocks up Hohman Avenue from the grandiose Parthenon Theatre, and could seat almost 2000.

Though not as ornate as the Parthenon or the State, the Paramount was nonetheless just as popular, and featured not just motion pictures but live stage shows, as late as the mid-50s.

The Paramount featured its own house orchestra, as well as an army of ushers and uniformed doormen who greeted patrons like royalty.

Over the years, many celebrities graced the Paramount’s stage, among them, Minnie Pearl, Pat Boone, and the Benny Goodman Band.

After falling into disrepair, the Paramount was shuttered in 1981, and has since been razed, recently replaced by Hammond’s brand-new Federal Courthouse Building.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

JohnSanchez
JohnSanchez on January 28, 2004 at 2:13 pm

I went to the Paramount only once back in 1978 to see “Coma”. I remember most how big the auditorium was and that the balcony was closed off to the public. It appeared to still be in decent shape at the time but the area had become rundown and not very safe. Sadly both the Paramount and the Parthenon (which was down the road) are long gone with no signs that they ever existed. What’s more of a shame is that the area of Hammond where these beautiful theaters were is starting to be built up again and there isn’t a theater within miles. A real shame.

Fred Schiller
Fred Schiller on August 16, 2004 at 10:54 am

I worked for a short time at the Paramount in the late 70s. I remember showing Coma. After closing I used to spend hours exploring the theater. There were a lot of leftovers from when the theater was in her prime. There were underground dressing rooms and call boards for the live acts. I spent so much time exploring because I had been told that Al Capone had once owned the theater and had used it as a distribution hub for liquor during prohibition. There were tunnels running under Hohman Ave that ran to storefronts where the booze was supposed to have been sold out of. This was around the time that Geraldo was cracking open Capone’s vault in downtown Chicago, so I had it in my mind that I might find some of Capones lost money. I found nothing but a lot of mold and spider webs. It was fun exploring though. The Paramount was a beauty, though, and I wish I had seen her in her prime.

drenny
drenny on June 26, 2005 at 1:16 pm

My grandmother would let the grandkids walk to downtown Hammond to the Paramount theatre, about a mile away from her home (on Willow Court). This was circa 1965, when you could let kids walk somewhere without an armed guard. I remember sitting through “The Ten Commandments” three times in a row. On Saturdays, Mom would drop off a stationwagon full of friends and cousins to enjoy the matinees (probably second-run movies, but when you’re 10 years old, who cares?). The Paramount had a ceiling that seemed to stretch to the stars, and a great concession stand (very important for a 10 year old!). Ah, the good old days!

gravis346
gravis346 on August 11, 2005 at 6:09 pm

I am posting some pictures on my website of The Paramount Theater…

http://www.dixiesquaremall.com

wa2oosy
wa2oosy on February 1, 2006 at 6:23 pm

I was an usher at the Paramount Theatre from November,1978 to March, 1979. I did some exploring myself. Does any one have any photos or home movies of the theatre
when it was up and running? I would love to do a documentary on this great movie palace.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 4, 2006 at 7:58 am

This film was playing at the Paramount on 2/21/43:

STARTS TOMORROW – ADULTS ONLY!

NO GREATER SIN

Sin Dens Exposed as Under-Age Girls' Menace
Thrill Seeking MEN!

Other theaters advertised in the Hammond Times were the Calumet, Parthenon, Hohman, Orpheum, American, Midway, Ace, Rio, Vic, Forsythe Capitol, Indiana, Voge, Hoosier and Broadway.

EricV
EricV on October 8, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Nice story on the last years of the Paramount here:
http://www.hammondindiana.com/society_page.html
Click on “May-August 2006 Issue” to open the PDF file and read the article.
The Portillo’s in Skokie IL has a small picture of the Paramount (when it was new) on the wall just to the right of the entrance to the men’s room.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2011 at 3:59 am

This web page features several photos of the Paramount Theatre in Hammond and, for some reason, one photo of the Oakland, California, Paramount.

A legal case in the late 1980s revealed that the 99-year lease on the land the Paramount Theatre occupied began in 1929, so construction of the theater most likely also began that year.

editpro
editpro on July 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I lived across the state line in Illinois in the 50s and we would frequently take the bus to Hammond, visit the magic shop, the Army/Navy surplus store, and Woolworth’s, then head for either the Paramount or the Parthenon, the theaters that anchored the north and south ends of town. Great fun. I also remember seeing a double feature at the Paramount, Billy Budd and The Days of Wine and Roses. Not so fun.

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