Paramount Theatre

1501 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Paramount Theatre exterior

The Paramount Theatre on Times Square opened on November 19, 1926 with Lois Moran in the Paramount Picture “God Gave Me Twenty Cents”, plus a stage show. The Paramount Theatre lobby was modeled after the Paris Opera House with white marble columns, balustrades and an opening arms grand staircase. Inside, drapes were red velvet, the rugs were a similar red. The theatre also had a Wurlitzer 4 manual 36 ranks organ, made famous by organist Jesse L. Crawford and later by Don Baker. There was also an orchestra pit that rose up to the stage level. The ceilings were fresco and gilt. The railings were brass, and the seats plush. There were Greek statues and busts in wall niches. The rest rooms and waiting rooms were as grand as any cathedral. In the main lobby there was an enormous crystal chandelier.

Over the years, many of the top stars performed there, including Frank Sinatra and dozens of the era’s luminaries. After years of showing movies and shows, the Paramount Theatre was closed on February 21, 1966 with the James Bond movie “Thunderball”. The auditorium was destroyed and converted into office space, and the entrance and lobby areas were gutted to make way for office and retail space. The Paramount Office Building also contained two Preview Theatre’s which were designed by architect Charles C. Burton in an Art Deco style. They were in use between 1938 & 1969.

Today, the Paramount Building is occupied in part by the Times Square location of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 505 comments)

TheBigI on June 12, 2015 at 2:19 am

I believe I am in the possession of two wrought iron railings from the old Paramount theater. Former owner of my house helped tear it down in 66'and got them. Looking to view any internal photos of the theater for absolute proof.

pnelson on June 12, 2015 at 3:29 am

Elegant theatre style but the crowd looks rather ghostly. Prosenium is huge and lovely. Tragedy the place is gone and a loss to the history of NYC.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm

1935 photo added courtesy of the IM STILL SO NYC Facebook page.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on June 30, 2015 at 6:47 pm

David, Please change the license to © All Rights Reserved. We usually give permission to use the photograph, but would like people to ask permission. I assume the “IM STILL SO NYC Facebook page” pulled it unattributed from my Flickr page. Thank you.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I have deleted it, and will re-post it crediting Barto & Mann via you, All Rights Reserved. I have added many Barto & Mann photo’s in the past, and have always credited them properly.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on June 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Thank you David. The attribution should go to George Mann.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Yes, The George Mann Collection. That had actually highlighted as I was rewriting it under the photo. From the last time I had used it on CT. Thanks again for the clarifications.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 7:43 pm

BTW, I remember George Mann as King Vitamin on the cereal box.

DavidZornig on November 24, 2015 at 4:22 am

1934 photo added courtesy of the IM STILL SO NYC Facebook page.

paul baar
paul baar on August 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm


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