Paramount Theatre

215 Third Street,
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

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Paramount Theatre Painted wall sign

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Once described as the most thoroughly equipped and scientifically built motion picture play house in the South, this theater replaced the old Columbia Theatre after its 1919 demolition.

The new Columbia Theatre was opened September 4, 1920 with 1,451 seats, and was the first theater in the United States to have lights lining the aisles.

It was renamed the Paramount Theatre around 1937.

The Paramount Theatre was demolished in 1979.

Contributed by Jack Van Leer

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 14, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Here is a photo of the Paramount Theater and this is the ticket booth.

dfwchip
dfwchip on October 17, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Sometime in the late 1970’s I believe, the Varsity was divided into two cinemas from it’s original single cinema format. It was then known as the Varsity Twin Cinema and became primarily a repertory cinema, showing many old classic Hollywood movies, from Casablanca to Night of the Living Dead. Around 1985, the movie venue change to art films and independent films. Around 1987-88, the two cinema’s were modified with long bench-like tables in front of the seats and a real food and booze menu was created. Waiters and waitresses would come around and take your food and drink order. This fad didn’t last that long as your food would be brought to you after the film started usually, and was quite a distraction. This was the only theater in Baton Rouge that showed the controversial THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST in 1988 (an, of course, the picketers were there, but were made to stand and do there shouting across the street on Highland Road). In 1991, the venue changed again to that of a live concert hall. Better that than tearing it down…

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 17, 2007 at 1:24 pm

CL, Did you mean to post this on the Varsity’s page or is there a connection to the Paramount?

dfwchip
dfwchip on October 17, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Oops. sorry! You are correct, I meant to post this on the Varsity’s page…

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 2, 2007 at 7:20 am

Here is a vintage (1970s?) photo of the Paramount Theater and this is an interior view.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 15, 2008 at 9:28 am

Here are some color versions of photos previously posted in b/w.

Photo1

Photo2

Photo3

Photo4

blacykaty
blacykaty on June 22, 2009 at 11:30 am

I have many fond memories of the Paramount and a child growing up in Baton Rouge. The most vivid is when my father and I were at Gone With the Wind in the mid ‘70’s. The movie was delayed in starting, no one could understand why. Finally, 3 rather large gentlemen in suits came into the theater and checked everyone out. A few moments later, Gov. Edwin Edwards walked in and sat 2 rows in front of us.

The Paramount was such a beautiful theater. It broke my heart to see it torn down. I never really understood why.

GBC
GBC on December 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Did the movie “The Long Hot Summer” make it’s world premiere at the Paramount?

jmcguckin
jmcguckin on July 23, 2013 at 11:42 am

Funny, the archive picture shows Sgt. Pepper on the Theatre Marquee – I saw Sgt. Pepper at the Paramount a couple of times. Sitting in the balcony near where the second archive photo was taken…

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