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 507 comments)

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 9:38 am

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

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on June 30, 2015 at 10:47 am

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 10:59 am

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 11:11 am

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

DavidZornig on June 30, 2015 at 11:42 am

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 11:43 am

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

DavidZornig on November 23, 2015 at 8:22 pm

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

paul baar
paul baar on August 21, 2017 at 4:13 am


DavidZornig on March 27, 2020 at 12:55 pm

Paramount marquee at 19:30 in video.

vindanpar on June 15, 2020 at 11:47 am

As per CC’s photo posted today I think I remember Sinatra saying, perhaps on Larry King, that when he was in NY he would drive by the Paramount building. Too bad he never got out perhaps late at night and had his picture taken in the area of the former entrance.

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