Grand Theater seeks grant for restoration project

posted by philbertgray on December 5, 2007 at 10:45 am

PARIS, TX — In order to save the Grand Theater, citizens are taking a different route than usual by getting a grant.

The City of Paris is seeking a $200,000 environmental Protection Agency grant to be matched with $40,000 for the Grand Theater Restoration project. The dilapidated and abandoned Grand Theater, long a landmark in downtown Paris is being considered to be restored because of its historical value.

The restoration project grant is being sought from the Ark-Tex council of Governments board of directors. The twinned theater is closed but the marquee and colorful vertical sign remains intact.

The theater opened in 1937 and was designed by architect Jake Elder. It originally seated 809 people and had the largest fly-loft west of the Mississippi. It was twinned sometime prior to its closing in 1996 after a new Theater was built in the city. Sometime later the already deteriorating Grand’s property owners abandoned the building. Roof-top openings allowed water to seep in causing water damage and pigeon infestation; peeling paint and crumbling ceiling tiles make the building a health hazard. There is flooding in the basement and a crack along the outside of the north wall.

An article on the intial steps to restore the theater can be found at the Paris News.

Theaters in this post

Comments (5)

ticktock11 on December 5, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Too say that it had “the largest fly-loft west of the Mississippi” is saying quite a bit, if true.

Anyone have an idea what’s actually meant here?

Lindy on December 5, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Balcony perhaps? The Grand did have a large balcony before the twinning. Biggest balcony west of the Mississippi in 1937?!

philbertgray on December 7, 2007 at 11:57 am


The fly-loft reference is from an article at Preservation Texas. I questioned that also when I read the article. I haven’t been able to find a picture of the entire building to put the statement into perspective.

Below is the article – there is also a small picture of the interior. It seems quite small and nondescript – probably because of the twinning.
View link

ticktock11 on December 7, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Mr. Gray,

Thanks much. Still a mystery.

The article refers to the “tallest” fly-loft west of the Mississippi (geez, I love typing that name).

I’m not convinced. If the place was built in 1937, as a movie house, in a small town, there’s virtually no reason it would have a fly-loft. It would scarcely have a stage.

So I still wonder what the writer is talking about.

tube2005 on December 9, 2007 at 2:45 am

i am looking for those old theatre sound equipment like speaker cabinet drivers amplifier i will paid good money and come to pick them up.773-339-9035

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