The historic Brooklyn Paramount Theatre (at Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues) is getting closer to hosting big-time entertainment acts thanks to the partnership between its current owners, Long Island University (LIU), and Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner.
The Theater is expected to undergo a $50 million renovation/restoration that Ratner boasts will “restore the iconic venue to its rightful splendor” and also expand the capacity of the flexible space to fit up to 3,000 people. The renovation is expected to start in the fall of this year and take less than two years, with the Theater opening its doors before the end of 2018.
The project is being carried out by owner/operator Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE), the team behind Barclays Center. They expect to book about 120 events each year, a mix of music, comedy, boxing, and more.
The newly restored theater will also have a new name: LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theater. The original Paramount Theatre opened in 1928 as a live performance venue and was the first theater in the world designed to show talking movies. It closed its doors in 1962, when it was acquired by the LIU, but has managed to preserve the original Rococo style ceiling.
“We are eagerly anticipating the construction beginning on the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “This team has a track record of delivering spectacular venues, as evidenced by Barclays Center and the newly reopened NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the Paramount Theatre will be no different. It will soon thrive again and will bring more top-notch programming to the borough.”
Employment opportunities and internships at LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will be available to students at the university. “This project will provide LIU Brooklyn with a venue for its new School of the Arts and an additional opportunity for experiential learning,” Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, LIU President said. “LIU Brooklyn is proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to restore the historic Paramount to its grandeur.”