The Brooklyn Paramount returns after 46 years

posted by philbertgray on August 25, 2008 at 8:00 am

BROOKLYN, NY — The Brooklyn Paramount first opened its doors in November 1928. It continued in operation until August 1962 when then owners, The Long Island University, converted the lobby of the theatre into a student cafeteria and portions of the auditorium into a gym. Now, forty six years later the University has opened its new athletic center and announced the Paramount will once again be used as theatre space.

The grand lobby, a copy of the famous Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, the sunburst proscenium, the side bays representing visions into the formal gardens of French royal palaces of the late 18th century, and the ornate ceiling are still visible. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ, second in size and sound only to the two in the Radio City Music Hall, has been lovingly restored by the Theatre Organ Enthusiasts group.

An article on the return of the Brooklyn Paramount can be found at the Brooklyn Eagle website along with a small photo of the auditorium during its 1962 conversion to a gym.

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Comments (9)

willis on August 25, 2008 at 8:11 am

Wonderful news! I’d love to get a look at the old place again. I enjoyed seeing movies there and once I Saw Pearl Bailey in a memorable stage show in the late 50’s.

MPol on August 25, 2008 at 8:25 am

Sounds exciting, even though I don’t live in Brooklyn or anywhere in NYC. It’s heartening to hear about old movie theatres making a comeback. Perhaps there’s hope for the moviegoing public after all!?

terrywade on August 25, 2008 at 9:48 am

I hope they will show some movies from time to time with the regular school music and plays. If they do show some prints they will have the largest wide screen in town. Does someone have some good 35mm projectors for them or do you think they still have them in the old booth?

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on August 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

What kind of a reporter is this? While this might appear to be great news, this story doesn’t go far enough. When LIU says that it will resuse the space as a theater, what exactly does that mean? Will the seating be restored? Will the theater be refurbished? Will it be used for films, live theater, concerts or all three? What is the timetable? In my opinion, the reporter did a poor job. If you’re going to announce the return of one of Brooklyn’s most treasured and storied theaters you should provide actual news and not just a history lesson. Hopefully someone on CT who has some inside info will fill us in on what’s really happening.

shoeshoe14 on August 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Or…you can call up the paper and ask to speak to or email the reporter. Or write a letter to the editor. I’m a reporter and I constantly email and call other reporters when I see questions not asked or gaps in reporting.

Jack Oberleitner
Jack Oberleitner on August 26, 2008 at 10:23 am

We should be glad that there is at least a chance that this grand showplace may be renovated and once again used as a theatre. It’s a shame that some of the Manhattan showplaces, most notably the ROXY, never got a second chance. As the song goes ”…they took (the) Paradise and put up a parking lot…”

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on August 26, 2008 at 10:45 am

With all due respect ShoeShoe14 this was a POOR article. He didn’t just “miss” a question, he didn’t ask ANY questions. It wasn’t just a gap, all of the important information was totally missing! If the focal (main) point of your story is that the theater is returning to theatrical use, then you should at least have a sentence that talks about that. This article was nothing but a short history lesson of The Brooklyn Paramount and created many more questions than answers.

To recap: What is LIU doing exactly? When are they going to do it? What kind of renovation will be done? Will seating be restored? Do they plan on making it capable of showing films again? He didn’t ask any of these questions and as a result, this reporter gets a big F!

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on August 26, 2008 at 11:13 am

I’m officially apologizing to the reporter for my prior comments.

I just re-read the article and it now looks like the point of the article WAS a history lesson. The title of the article is “On This Day In History! Yikes! It is only towards the end that he throws in the little tidbit that LIU is making the Paramount a theater again. It was not the point of his article.

What threw me was the title that CT put over the actual article: “The Brooklyn Paramount Returns after 46 years!”

That’s not what the article was about at all! It really was a history lesson! :–)

Anyway, more questions have indeed been raised than we have answers for. If any CT readers have any insight please share. It would be wonderful to have this theater back in the public realm.

Again, my apologies to the reporter.

tomdelay on August 27, 2008 at 7:21 pm

The Wurlitzer is second in size to the RCMH Wurlitzer—in New York City.

Outside of New York City, there are still a few original theatre instruments larger than the LIU/Brooklyn Paramount organ, notably the Fox theatres in Detroit, St. Louis, and Atlanta. Still, the LIU Wurlitzer has a sound that has to be heard live to be believed. Incredible does not do it justice.

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