Paramount optimistic about goal

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 9, 2002

The Paramount Theatre's restoration project has taken 12 years and has required hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and donations.

Though the restoration is nearing completion, the fundraising continues for the Paramount.

According to Scott Anderson, director of the Paramount, the theater will have finished raising the $250,000 it needs to restore the theater to a usable state. That includes installing a heating and cooling system for the entire building and putting in carpeting, and in the next few months, those projects should be completed.

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"The heating and air-conditioning are being worked on as we speak. Friday, they even had the air-conditioning working a little bit. It's very exciting because it's kind of hot and humid inside the theater this time of year and it gets kind of miserable," Anderson says. "I'm guessing, but by the beginning of the heating season, it will be done. That's a hopeful guess."

When the heating and cooling system is installed, he says he'll be able to control it from home. "During the winter, we'll probably keep the theater kind of cool, maybe 50 to 55 degrees, but on the afternoon before an evening show, I'll be able to go to my computer and warm up the theater from home, instead of having to drive in to do it."

He also expects the carpeting will be finished "soon."

After the heating and cooling system and the carpeting are installed, he says the theater board will move on to other improvements in the theater. Those include expanding the main stage, building a scene construction shop, a green room and restoring the dressing rooms. Anderson says he's heard that will cost an estimated $350,000 and the theater board hopes those projects will be done in time for the Paramount's 75th birthday in 2004.

When the second stage of the Paramount's renovation is finished, Anderson says the theater will begin concentrating on raising $500,000 for its endowment fund.

A concert celebrating the restoration will be held at the Paramount at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 7. The concert will feature a variety of songs Broadway musicals and movies, pop tunes and other surprises performed by Michael Veldman and Kaye Perry, The Paramount Trio, the Perfect Fourth quartet and others. People who donate at least $100 will receive free tickets. Everyone else will have to pay $15 per ticket which will be available at Nemitz's, the Paramount box office and the door, beginning Aug. 15.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at