Paramount Theatre

215 3rd Street,
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm

This web page has a few photos of the Paramount, plus what appears to be a pre-1919 photo showing the original Columbia Theatre when it was a ten-cent movie house.

A two-manual, six rank Robert Morton organ, opus 2412, was installed in the Columbia Theatre in 1926. In a later restoration, the console was replaced by one from the Paramount in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The page linked in paragraph one has a link at the bottom leading to a page that links to an audio-only recording of the organ, played by the Paramount’s house organist, Dolton McAlpin. It’s quite impressive. The organ pipes and chestwork were later installed in a private home in Jackson, Mississippi.

This article mentions that the Columbia became the Paramount in 1929.

Tellgryn on March 19, 2016 at 7:18 am

The Paramount was a grant theater and reopened under the Paramount name after the very old Columbian(?) theater was rebuild. When to many movies at the Paramount in the 60’s and 70’s.

SouthernBoy on March 31, 2015 at 2:24 pm

I remember my Dad taking me to the Paramount when I was 6 years old in 1960. It would be the Saturday morning matinee with the red velvet ropes and carpet and curtains. That is where my love for the movies started. I’ll never forget those times.

Rockman on February 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

I remember the “crying baby” room behind the first balcony. It had all the heavy drapes that just looked like a hand with a dagger might come out at any moment. I also remember the ancient little ladies at the ticket booth and the concession stand.

MikeJC on May 31, 2014 at 11:18 am

The Paramount Baton Rouge had a very nice 2 manual 7 rank Robert Morton theatre organ. It was recorded by Dalton McAlpin in the 1960’s and issued on a couple of Concert Recording LP discs

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…

GBC on December 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

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

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.

dfwchip on October 17, 2007 at 3:34 pm

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

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 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…

mediatoon on March 27, 2004 at 11:40 pm

The Paramount was demolished in 1979, following a failed eleventh-hour attempt by private citizens to save it. The longtime owners felt the theater was too expensive to maintain, and had it flattened to street-level before it was turned into a parking lot.

Fortunately, parts of the old theater—the pipe organ, the marquee and neon sign, and the concrete statues—still exist, scattered about town in the hands of various individuals. A multi-level parking garage is about to be built at the corner of Third at Convention Streets, in place of where the Paramount once stood.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 5, 2004 at 7:50 am

I have been told that the Paramount was razed in the early 1990’s. Is this true?

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 5, 2004 at 7:49 am

I have been told that the Paramount was razed in the early 1990’s. Is this true?