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Historic Paramount Theatre Being Reopened As Entertainment Venue

By Janet Upadhye | January 30, 2015 2:10pm
 The 1928 theater will soon host a variety of events, including music, comedy and boxing.
The 1928 theater will soon host a variety of events, including music, comedy and boxing.
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Long Island University

FORT GREENE — It's encore time for the historic Paramount Theatre in Fort Greene.

A Barclays Center affiliate recently partnered with Long Island University Brooklyn to return the 1920s theater — with its ornate moldings, vaulted ceilings, lustrous gold details and painted dome  — to being an entertainment venue for the first time in more than half a century.

Paramount, located on the corner of DeKalb and Flatbush avenues, is currently used as a gymnasium for students but will soon host a variety of live entertainment including music, comedy and boxing, according to Barclays Center officials.

Artists such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra played the theater's stage in its 1930s and '40s heyday until LIU bought the space in 1960 and used it for basketball games.

The school opened a new gym in 2005 and the Paramount was then primarily used as practice space for the school's baseball, softball, tennis and track teams.

“There’s enormous potential with the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre,” said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark in a statement. “We are excited to turn the lights back on and to see the evolvement of the venue, first by reintroducing the building to the entertainment industry."

The theater seats 1,500 and is expected to host its first live events as soon as next month.

Students will still be allowed to play basketball if there are no events.