Regional Theater of The Week: The Paramount in Aurora, IL!
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States. So read on for our inaugural Featured Regional Theater and stay tuned for more!
This Week's Featured Regional Theater: The Paramount in Aurora, IL
Designed in the Art Deco style by Chicage-based architectural firm Rapp and Rapp, The Paramount Theater in Aurora, Illinois, opened its doors in 1931. The theater's original purpose was to house Paramount Pictures' new releases, specifically the 'Talkies' which were swiftly replacing the silent films of the 1920s. For the next 40 years, The Paramount would offer the citizens of Aurora varied entertainment options such as sound motion pictures, vaudeville, concerts and circus performances.
Following a $1.5 million renovation project in 1978, the Paramount Arts Center (as it was known then) opened its door and became home to vibrant performing arts programs, including theater, musicals, comedy, dance and family-friendly shows and events.
Click on the video for a look back at The Paramount's history!
Deemed a Historic Place by the United States National Park Service and named one of the Top 10 theatres in Chicago by the League of Chicago Theatres, the Paramount today greets over 150,000 patrons per year.
A number of notable performers have graced the Paramount stage, including Frankie Avalon, George Carlin, Natalie Cole, Duke Ellington Orchestra, B.B. King, Cyndi Lauper, Jackie Mason, Bernadette Peters, Will Rogers and the Von Trapp Children to name but a few.
The Paramount continues to offer an eclectic production season which includes concerts, movie screenings (including its Classic Movie Mondays where movie buffs can enjoy classic movies for the exceptionally-low price of .80 cents!) regional productions and a Broadway Series which launches its new season in September with GREASE, ANNIE, THE MUSIC MAN and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. For a list of upcoming shows at The Paramount, click here.
For more on the Paramount Theater, visit their website here.
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Photo by Cbradshaw