Renovation of Historic Paramount Theatre to Begin This Fall at LIU Brooklyn

May 24, 2017
Construction will begin this fall to restore a historic theater on the Long Island University's Brooklyn campus, developers of the project said this week.

The LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, located at Flatbush and Dekalb avenues, will close for two years while the the renovation takes place, according to Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the group behind the Barclays Center, which will be overseeing the project.

The restoration, first announced in 2015, will turn the 3,000-seat theater into a modern performance space while keeping the 1928 building's original details including an elaborate Rococo ceiling and a Wurlitzer organ.

Through its history, the Paramount Theatre hosted some of the biggest names in 20th Century music, including Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry and Frank Sinatra, according to LIU. It closed as an entertainment venue in 1962 and has been used by the university since then for multiple uses including the home court for its Brooklyn Blackbird basketball team.

LIU intramural programs and other events currently housed in the theater will be moved to other campus facilities during the two-year renovation, the university said.

When construction is complete, BS&E hopes to host music, comedy, and boxing events at the theater. LIU students will be offered jobs and internships at the venue, the group said, particularly for students studying arts management, media arts, marketing, performing arts and operations.

"This project will provide LIU Brooklyn with a venue for its new School of the Arts and an additional opportunity for experiential learning," said LIU's president, Dr. Kimberly R. Cline. "LIU Brooklyn is proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to restore the historic Paramount to its grandeur."
By Rachel Holliday Smith