Paramount Theater in Austin reopens after COVID closure

Rachel Mills
Created: February 27, 2021 06:56 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Paramount Theatre in Austin has always been a showstopper, but it has reopened with a few new features. The theater now includes a "mini-museum" full of old Paramount artifacts. Some came from the Mower County Historical Society, while others from a surprising source, "Old patrons. I mean, these are locally found or sourced artifacts that come from people's collections. It's taken an army, but we've got quite a cool gig here," Sam Deyo, front-of-house manager of the theater, said. 

Paramount Theatre was built in 1928 to replace the previous theater destroyed by a tornado, but with all that history comes some mystery, "We do have a rumor of the building being haunted and personally I've only had a couple of run-ins. Friendly ghosts," Deyo said. 

Sandy and Chuck Folk of Austin have been patrons of Paramount Theatre for decades. Even occasionally taking to the stage themselves, "We both sang in a group called the Northwestern Singers and they used to perform here also," Chuck Folk said. 

They said they are glad to be back in the theater after a year of closed doors, even if the future is uncertain, "I hope it lasts forever really," Sandy Folk said.  

Theater management said they used the time they were closed to update a few things inside. The theater's Spanish baroque decor takes some upkeep, but that is what makes it different, "It basically transports you to a whole different place. It's unlike any other theater we've been in. It was originally designed by the same people who did the Chateau in Rochester and a couple of stadiums up in Minneapolis," Deyo said.  

The closing of Austin's only movie theater means change is on the horizon for the Paramount, "We are so sorry to hear about CineMagic 7 and its employees. It was such an unfortunate loss to Austin, but we are looking forward to announcing a four-week movie run," Deyo said. 

He also said they are planning on showing old classics in the theater as an ode to its history.

If you are looking for more information about the historic Paramount Theatre, click on this link: http://www.austinareaarts.org/tour-the-paramount


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