560 Bay Street,
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Paramount Theatre, Stapleton (Official)
Architects: George W. Leslie Rapp
Firms: Rapp & Rapp
News About This Theater
Located in the Stapleton district of Staten Island. The Paramount Theatre was considered the second most prestigious theatre on Staten Island next to the St. George Theatre in nearby St. George. The Paramount Theatre was opened in around October 1930 with a seating capacity of 2,300. It was rather unique, because it had a Wurlitzer theatre organ with two consoles, one of only 10 such installations in the USA. The organists on opening night were Betty Gould and Priscilla Holbrook (who called herself Jean).
In 1961, while under the ownership of Fabian Theatres it underwent a $135,000 renovation and was closed for four weeks. It reopened as the New Paramount Theatre with wider seating and aisles and a reduced seating capacity of 2,000. It closed as a movie theatre in 1978, and was operating as a multi-purpose hall in 1979. Soon it was being advertised as the Paramount Nightclub. This was a short-lived venture and it became a Rock music venue from October 1980. Groups appearing at the Paramount Theatre included the B-52’s, Squeeze and the Ramones. This use lasted a few years, but by the late-1980’s, the building had been closed up and and was used for storage. It then remained empty and un-used for the next 25 years.
The future of the Paramount Theatre was uncertain, it was up for sale, and plans in 2000, called for the theatre to be demolished to make way for high-rise apartments.
It was sold in late-2008, and the current owner began an $800,000 restoration on the building in 2009, with a planned reopening in late-January 2010. It was be used for receptions and also feature live performances. Unfortunately, restoration work was halted in 2010. Restoration work began again in January 2016 to convert the building into a restaurant, catering hall and events venue.
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