Architecture, Interiors I 04.04.24 I by

Brooklyn’s historic Paramount Theatre reopens to the public

The historic Brooklyn Paramount Theatre reopened to the public on 27 March following a major renovation to the 100-year-old Fort Greene landmark.

The Baroque building was designed by Chicago theater architect team Rapp and Rapp and opened in 1928, serving as a movie theatre and music hall that hosted performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and Buddy Holly. In 1962, it was acquired by Long Island University and converted into a gym, its music hall stage removed and upper offices turned into academic spaces.

Despite its radical change of use to a basketball hall, some of its opulent interior detailing, like the guilded Rococo ceiling, handcrafted mouldings, and plaster statues, survived. These historic trimmings have been restored, while the building’s functional aspects have been brought well and truly into the 21st century.

A new stage has been installed alongside state-of-the-art backstage facilities, seven bars, and a new VIP lounge named for Ella Fitzgerald. A sloped floor has also been installed to improve viewing at the 2,600-capacity venue, and the Brooklyn Paramount’s famous Wurlitzer organ—one of only two working models—has been preserved.

The restoration project took five years to complete. It was spearheaded by entertainment juggernaut Live Nation and designed by Blueprint Studio, Live Nation’s global design team.

Damien and Stephen Marley inaugurated the venue with a concert on 27 March 2024, followed by Guster, The Martinez Brothers, Liam Gallagher, Waxahatchee, Belle & Sebastian, and The Decemberists. See the full schedule of upcoming gigs.

Photography: Evan Joseph
Photography: Evan Joseph

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