Paramount Theater Construction To Begin Later This Year

Rendering of Flatbush Avenue facade of LIU Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Paramount signage by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. Used by Permission of Long Island University.

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.

Brooklyn Paramount Interior, 1937
Detail of lavish interior designed by architectural firm Rapp & Rapp of Chicago (balcony perspective)
Attribution: Used by Permission of Long Island University. Brooklyn Paramount Interior, 1937

H3, which is known for its work on Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center Theatre, and the New York Botanical Garden, is the architect of record.

“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.”

Rendering of planned restoration of Brooklyn Paramount After a 24-month renovation, the Brooklyn Paramount will focus on booking emerging talent, including music, comedy, boxing, and private programs for students. The venue will have a flexible seating configuration with a capacity of up to 3,500. Attribution: Rendering by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. Used by Permission of Long Island University.

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.”

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Liena Zagare

Editor of Bklyner.com. Tips? Complaints? Suggestions? Email me at Liena@bklyner.com.

Comments

  1. Hope I’m still able to live in Brooklyn by the time the theatre is complete. I know my parents and other older family members saw shows there when they were young. It’s awesome that they’re bringing back such a beautiful and historic theater.

  2. How do you write an article about this theater and not mention the world’s largest pipe organ?

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