Wednesday, May 03, 2006

new life for the paramount?

The Youngstown Vindicator just posted this story a few minutes ago about an Illiniois company purchasing the Paramount Theater along Federal Street. I must admit I was extremely excited to hear the news about the potential rebirth of this building, especially counter to other proposals to rip it down and replace it with a shiny new parking lot. We will now wait and see if these ideas become reality. Existing pictures of the interior can be found here.

Kudos to those who continue to see value in both historic structures and the potential for adaptive reuse of buildings.

A previous post on this blog discussed a recent trip to see a movie in a theatre that had a bar inside. Perhaps this sort of concept can make the whole "art-indy-film" draw an even more profitable venture. I also believe that Youngstown lacks a cool music venue that can fit 200-400 people comfortably for some rock concerts. One of my favorite haunts in the city of Atlanta is the Variety Playhouse which has really great almost-popular bands playing there every week. There, owners took an old movie house, added some speakers, placed folding chairs and tables around the dance floor, and built a bar that serves local brews from the area. (a recent posting contained at has info about the B&O brewery opening back up)

Can this same type of concept work in Youngstown? As anything else, the support for events and the capital to invest must exist to make this type of place a success. But we are moving in the right direction.


Anonymous said...

I can barely believe what I've read. This is a tremendous gain for the central city, and the urban avant-garde of Youngstown! I always thought that one day I would be laying down in front of the Paramount Theatre with that fellow from Steeltown Studios, protesting its proposed demolition for some unnecessary surface-level parking lot. I wish this Ill. company well, and hopefully I will be seeing you all downtown in 2-3 years, outside the new stage and cinema.

Preservation AND Progress,

Pro-Yo Advocate
North Heights Neighborhood, Youngstown

John Ettorre said...

Thank you for this site. It really is an extraordinarily good window on all things Mahoning Valley. I followed a link from my friend at Youngstown Pride and was overwhelmed by all the great material you have here, especially that MIT study on how Youngstown and Allentown have dealt differently with the post-steel era. I'll be reading closely. And perhaps we'll get to meet and chat some day.