Paramount staff eyes grants for expansion

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Paramount Theatre officials hope to secure grant funding for an expansion project. - Herald file photo

The Paramount Theatre’s expansion plans are starting back up.

Paramount Executive Director Jennie Germain said Tuesday that the theater and the Austin Area Commission for the Arts have hired a Twin Cities professional grant writer to apply for a Minnesota Historical Society grant early next month. If the Paramount receives the grant, they will begin reaching out to architects to get proposals for the long-talked about Paramount expansion.

“Hopefully, within the next year, we’ll be able to launch an official fundraising campaign,” Germain said.

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AACA and Paramount officials have for years talked about expanding the Paramount, since it was originally a movie theater. Yet Paramount officials have had trouble getting expansion plans off the ground.

That’s where Germain entered the picture. She said the AACA realized they needed someone who could work on the expansion full-time.

“It’s really exciting,” she said of the project.

The grantwriter, Tammy Lindberg, is reputed to help historical arts buildings secure funding, as she did with The Greater Litchfield Opera House in Litchfield, Minn., according to Germain.

The grant must be submitted in early January and hopefully Paramount officials will know in February whether they got the grant. Germain said the Paramount is pursuing other grant opportunities as well.