525 George Street,
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Previously operated by: Greater Union Theatres
Styles: Italian Renaissance
The only single theatre built in the city since the Ascot Theatre, the Paramount Theatre was a single level theatre built in what was a warehouse and furniture showroom. The narrow frontage led into a long vestibule with the auditorium behind the Rapallo Theatre in Kent Street.
Paramount Studios had long enjoyed releasing their top films at their own Prince Edward Theatre and went into partnership with Greater Union for a replacement. A press release described the decor in an Italian Renaissance style with Corinthian columns lining the walls between panels of gold velvet leading to the wall to wall stage with curtains of gold velvet. There was no proscenium, giving the theatre the widest screen possible. White marble effect statues topped the columns for a classical look.
The Paramount Theatre opened in May 1966 with Richard Burton in “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”. The theatre ran successfully even racking up a record run for “Can’t Stop The Music” which had its World Premier preview at the Paramount Theatre, presented in 70mm on 1st June 1980, but the film did not do well anywhere else. 70mm presentations had begun in 1974 with a re-release of “The Ten Commandments”. Others were “Star Trek”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and the final 70mm show, “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas”.
In 1984 Greater Union demolished the Paramount Theatre and adjacent Rapallo Theatre to extend the neighbouring Hoyts multiplex which they had taken over.
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