Downtown Brooklyn’s historic Paramount theater gets a makeover and a opening date


The Paramount in the 1950s

Downtown Brooklyn’s long-awaited Brooklyn Paramount concert venue announced on Thursday that it will officially open on March 27, with a performance by two of Bob Marley’s sons, Damian and Stephen.

Other artists slated to play in the venue’s first few months include Guster, Mariah the Scientist, Belle and Sebastian, The Decemberists, Sum 41 and Brooklyn’s own Busta Rhymes. The space can hold 2,700 fans.

“The reopening of the historic Brooklyn Paramount is the latest sign that Brooklyn’s art scene is thriving,” Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said in a press release.

This is actually a reopening for the nearly-100-year-old theater, which debuted in 1928 as a movie palace that also hosted some of the biggest names in jazz — including Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington — and some of the earliest pioneers of rock and roll. Long Island University bought the building in the 1950s and over time converted it to an all-purpose arena, complete with a basketball court.

Rumors about the venue’s possible reincarnation have floated for nearly a decade. Now run by entertainment behemoth Live Nation, the current renovation process took five years and employed over 500 tradespeople. (The venue notes that it will create 250 permanent full-time jobs once it opens.)

The renovation has left the original old-school rococo design intact and adds a VIP lounge named in honor of Ella Fitzgerald.

LIU still has some ties to the space, and its students will get access to internships and part-time jobs at the venue.

“We are proud to partner with Live Nation,” LIU President Kimberly R. Cline said in a statement.

See the full list of upcoming shows here.

The post Downtown Brooklyn’s historic Paramount theater gets a makeover and a opening date appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

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