Paramount Theatre

616 Central Avenue,
Hot Springs, AR 71901

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Edward F. Brueggeman, Guy W. Swaim

Firms: Brueggeman, Swaim & Allen

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Paramount Theatre

In his autobiography “My Life”, former President Bill Clinton mentions this theatre (on page 36) as being one of Hot Springs' “two old-fashioned movie houses”. The other was the Malco Theatre.

The Paramount Theatre opened in 1936 with Bing Crosby in “Two for Tonight”. In 1945 it was remodeled to the plans of architectural firm Brueggeman, Swaim & Allen. It was demolished in 1989.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 30, 2005 at 7:37 pm

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook’s,1941 and 1943 as having a seating capacity of 800. Operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary M.A. Lightman.

DavidZornig on June 17, 2020 at 11:41 pm

Description credit Garland County Historical Society.

“The 1000-seat Paramount Theater opened at 616 Central in 1936. The first movie shown was Two for Tonight with Bing Crosby and Joan Bennett. The theater featured first run movies and special events. The building was razed in 1989, and the site is now a parking lot beside the downtown post office.”

SethG on April 1, 2023 at 5:17 pm

Almost certainly a remodel of a much older theater. Sometime between 1886 and 1890, a pair of narrow two story brick storefronts were constructed at what were then 512 and 514. They separated by a very narrow court, and a large single story space at the rear was occupied by a plumber and gas fitter, with a 311 Exchange St address. By 1908, the addresses were 616 and 618.

By 1915, the space at the rear had been drastically remodeled to create an auditorium. The entrance was now in the southern half, at 620 (due to the filling of the court by a very narrow little store). Oddly, the stage was toward the front of the building. I’ve attached a Sanborn view.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 2, 2023 at 9:00 pm

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists a house called the Lyric Theatre at 624 Central. It ought to have been right in this neighborhood, if the directory got the address right. I suppose it could have been gone by the time the 1915 Sanborn was made.

SethG on April 3, 2023 at 8:21 am

Perhaps this earlier theater was the Lyric? The address would have been wrong, since that belonged to a large commercial building just to the south at 622-626. A tiny bit of this still exists at the southern corner.

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