Brooklyn’s historic Paramount Theatre to reopen in March

by TexasDigitalMagazine.com

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All renderings courtesy of Brooklyn Paramount

Fort Greene’s 100-year-old Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will reopen once again as a music venue next month following a major restoration. The historic theater’s grand opening season officially kicks off on March 27, with tickets now on sale for more than 45 shows featuring performers like Busta Rhymes, PinkPantheress, Norah Jones, and Mariah The Scientist, as Live Nation announced. The renovation preserved the opulent Baroque features throughout the space, including the latticework ceiling and original hand-crafted plaster statues. Modern upgrades include a new stage, a state-of-the-art backstage facility, seven bars, and an exclusive VIP lounge.

Brooklyn Paramount Theatre in 1948. Image used with Permission of Long Island University

Originally opened in 1928, the Brooklyn Paramount served as both a movie theater and music venue until it was taken over in 1962 by Long Island University (LIU), which converted the music hall into a gym and removed its stage. The university retained the theater’s stunning gilded latticework ceiling and converted the upstairs office into academic space.

The theater’s restoration gives contemporary artists the chance to return to a stage that once hosted legendary icons such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Miles Davis.

The music hall’s stunning Baroque details and iconic Rococo ceiling have been preserved. Modern updates have been installed to enhance the visitor experience, including a sloped floor for optimal viewing at any point in the venue, seven bars for quick service, and a second-level balcony featuring exclusive members’ boxes and “Ella’s VIP lounge,” inspired by Ella Fitzgerald’s intimate 1950s performances at the theater. The venue will also host community and private events.

“The reopening of the historic Brooklyn Paramount is the latest sign that Brooklyn’s art scene is thriving,” Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said. “I applaud Live Nation for renovating this historic venue where New Yorkers can enjoy the hottest performers right here in Brooklyn.”

“This reopening demonstrates that New York City does not need to reinvent the wheel to bring entertainment and good-paying jobs to our city. I am glad to see the Brooklyn Paramount back, and I look forward to seeing a performance there in the future!”

The theater’s famous Wurlitzer organ, one of only two models in operation, has been preserved as part of the restoration project. The other organ is located in Radio City Music Hall.

Plans to restore the theater to its original extravagance first surfaced in 2015 when Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim, the former operator of Barclay’s Center, announced a plan to renovate the theater and return it to an entertainment venue for $50 million. However, those plans were discarded after Prokhorov sold the Brooklyn Nets and the arena company. Up-to-date figures for the cost of the project have not been released.

The planning, design, and construction of the restored venue took five years and employed more than 500 local workers. Upon opening, the venue will create more than 250 permanent jobs offering a minimum wage of $20/hour or more. Additionally, Live Nation is partnering with LIU to offer internships and part-time jobs to students interested in pursuing careers in the music industry.

“We are honored that Long Island University chose Venue Nation to reimagine the next era of
the Brooklyn Paramount,” David Codiga, President of Blueprint Studio, Live Nation’s global
design and development team, said.

“Elevating the artist and fan experience is our top priority as we develop live music venues and Brooklyn Paramount is a stunning space that will host many memorable shows.”

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