Youngstown’s defunct theater district

posted by BALLETTEACHER on October 20, 2006 at 4:40 am

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — Has anyone been updated on the current status of the Paramount downtown in Y-town. Last I heard the paperwork was still going through, according the the mayor’s office. Ballerina lizz

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Comments (3)

Trish1 on December 23, 2006 at 9:32 am

Hi! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you. My old computer wouldn’t let me do it, but hopefully my new one will! We went in and took pictures, and well, it is a mess. There is debris all over the floor. There are places on the main floor where the ceiling has caved in, and there is rhebar hanging down. Also, some of the more adventuresome of my group went into the basement, and they noticed that the bricks of the foundation appear to be badly decayed. There are stalagtites hanging down through some of the bricks, and that indicates massive water damage. Also, there are places where the water has eroded the concrete so much that only the rhebar is there. Some people went on the mezzanine, and there is debris all over there, too. The breaker boxes are still there, but the levers are rusted over and difficult to move. There is an area directly above the stage where you can see a large hole in the roof. I’m not a structural engineer, so I would definitely recommend that Mr. Warshauer go in there with a structural engineer to really take an in-depth look at it to determine if it is salvageable. I would love to see it returned to its former glory, perhaps of the 1920s or 1930s. There are areas where you can still see the ceiling corbelling (scroll work) especially near the mezzanine and also corbelling in the plaster on the walls toward the front, near the stage. And I do think that downtown Youngstown could really use the economic shot in the arm that a historic theater district (I guess you could call Youngstown itself an historic theater district with Stambaugh, Powers, and possibly the Paramount) would give it. Good Luck!

rroberts on January 1, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Trish & Ballerina & Others: We own the theatre and appreciate the public’s input however there is a great deal of misinformation. That will change this year as we assist some folks in the creation of a not-for-profit group and improve the website: I am not sure why the owners of Cinema Treasures refuse to list our website as we are the legal owners of the property and have every intention of rehabilitating and operating the theatre. It will take years! Perhaps you can ask Cinema treasures why they refuse to list our site, as well. We have gone into the building with architects, (Ron Faniro of Youngstown & Gary Martinez from Washington DC) engineers, roofing specialists, city officials, historians and some volunteers. IT IS DANGEROUS AND NO ONE SHOULD ENTER; IT IS TRESPASSING AND COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY! I hope that Trish was authorized by someone to go in; (maybe the YSU class?) We have invested a great deal of time creating the business plan and model for operation. We have the complete support of city officials, historians, bankers and the folks at Youngstown State University. We had two press conferences and a BIG public forum coming in the next month or two for the public to ask questions and to finally get involved. The major issue is how to get a roof on the building to stop the damage and some electric to proviode lighting. A temporary roof will cost $40-50K and temporary electric service will cost $5K. Ideas?

Trish1 on January 1, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Hi Mr. Warshauer: I’m really glad to know that it will go forward! I was a member of Donna DeBlasio’s YSU class, and your associate (or maybe it was Ron Faniro’s associate) was the one who unlocked the building for us to get in. Yes, it is very dangerous, and believe me, I only go into buildings where I have permission to enter! Wow, we were guessing that the cost would be a minimum of $10-20K! Guess our class really underestimated! I did not go into the basement, but the photos tell the story. I hope that you have a copy of those by now. If not, Dr.DeBlasio does. If there is anything I can do to help you get this building back in shape, just let me know. I don’t know about getting the money, maybe grants would be available. Also, would the city maybe know of where some money could be obtained? I’m thinking of the Youngstown 2010 project. Maybe the Paramount could be part of it?

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