Brooklyn Paramount Theater Restoration Underway.

Did you know the Brooklyn Paramount Theater is being restored after decades of serving as a basketball court for Long Island University? Following the lead of Kings Theatre, which reopened 2015, the Paramount will be used once again for concerts and other live events.

The Paramount, built it 1928, was designed by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp, who also designed the Kings. Though a movie palace first and foremost, the theater was used for live events from the beginning, with jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald all taking the stage.  In the 1950’s, disc jockey Alan Freed began hosting rock and roll shows with artists like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino.  Long Island University converted the theater into a gymnasium in 1962, replacing the seating area with a basketball court, but the ornate ceiling and Wurlitzer organ were preserved. 

The restoration is expected to adhere closely to the original design.  The theater is being developed by Paramount Events Center, a partnership that includes Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, and Onexim Sports and Entertainment, the company owned by Barclays and Brooklyn Nets co-owner Mikhail Prokhorov. It is slated to open for events as soon as 2018. For more information and great historical photos see this article in Brownstoner.

By Arthur Mallett

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