Brooklyn Paramount Theatre

385 Flatbush Avenue Extension,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, Brooklyn, NY - 1931

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Built in 1928, by the studio that bore its name, the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre was opened on November 24, 1928. It is a magnificent 4,124 seat movie palace that closed in 1962, one year after the horrific razing of the Roxy Theatre in Manhattan.

Now serving as a gymnasium for Long Island University, the transformation is one of the strangest in movie theater history. Although the old Brooklyn Paramount Theatre has lost some of its original look, the building still contains the original Wurlitzer organ.

The Wurlitzer, in fact, is still maintained and used for the college’s basketball games. Many argue that the gymnasium’s organ is the finest in the country, if not the world.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 256 comments)

kong1911 on March 20, 2012 at 6:12 am

To Adam S, there is one photo some place on the internet which does show a small piece of the first mezzanine. It was in Life magazzine right after the first conversion. The photo shows a student jumping over a gym horse and you can just make out part of the mezz. You’ll have to do a web. search to find it. It’s the only photo I ever saw which has the mezz. in it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 2, 2012 at 6:25 am

Here’s a link to that Life Magazine issue. When you open it, just close the pop-up that asks about membership. The photo of the Paramount is on page 60, but the article (on classic movie palaces) begins on page 56. There’s a text box below the date of the magazine (which is February 19, 1971) where you can type the page # and hit “enter” on your keyboard.

kong1911 on April 2, 2012 at 8:08 am

Here is a link to a larger photo.

kong1911 on October 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Here’s some news!! The New York Theatre Organ Society will present the 1925 Horror Movie Classic “The Phantom of the Opera” Starring Lon Chaney at the Brooklyn Paramount on Sunday, October 28th 2012 at 3PM. The Brooklyn Paramount Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ will be played with the movie. General Admission will be $10.00. $8.00 for Seniors.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

My hunch is that the Paramount will not be restored anytime soon. I think the University will probably continue using it for a variety of purposes. Even if they have a new gymnasium for official basketball games, this one can have other uses. When I was at U. of Illinois in Champaign there were several gyms around campus which were used for all sorts of things.

Aside from the fact that I believe the building is still viable for LIU, unless the Trustees are blind they must be aware of the growing likelihood of the Loews Kings restoration. They must also be aware of the Bronx Paradise recently being leased to a church. While these are not the only considerations with regard to restoration, any governing body with the capacity for thoughtful decision would have to take these things into account.

kong1911 on December 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Maybe not anytime soon but you can still come and hear the mighty Wurlitzer roar. An organ concert is being planned for the middle of February. More details latter.

kong1911 on January 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

Do you want to hear the Mighty Wurlitzer at LIU Brooklyn, (The Brooklyn Paramount)? On Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. An evening of pops, show tues, and light classical will be performed by Theatre Organist Jelani Eddington. For more information go to

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

This sounds like fun. Can anyone here report on earlier organ recitals at this theater?

kong1911 on January 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

There was a silent film “The Phantom of the Opera” done with the organ which went over very well except that it was the day before Sandy came and that kept people away but quite a few did show up. The last concert that was open to the public was I don’t even know how many years ago. It is hoped that a concert and 2 or 3 silent movies will be put on each year. Let’s see.

kong1911 on March 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

You can now take a video tour of the 4/26 Wurlitzer Organ that is still there on UTube at:

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