The History in Historic
One of only four atmospheric theaters remaining in Minnesota, the Historic Paramount Theatre was built in 1929 and served as a "first run" movie house until 1975, then as a disco bar, teen club, and comedy club from '75 to '87. When it was purchased by Austin Area Arts in 1992, it required a staunch fundraising effort and work by innumerable tireless volunteers to complete the exhaustive renovation process.
The Paramount Theatre reopened its doors shortly after the turn of the millennium sporting a replica of the original 1929 marquee, a new stone spire (the original had been damaged by a lighting strike on Halloween night in 1945), and a revitalized pseudo-Baroque exterior facade. The interior has also been restored to its former splendor thanks to the work of John Durfey, who led the years-long effort to recover the theater’s colorful Spanish motif. With its arched blue ceiling, stars, and moving clouds, the Paramount calls to mind a small Spanish garden on a clear night.
Having recently installed a state-of-the-art sound system, new projector and top-quality movie screen, Austin Area Arts continues to present a full season of performing arts and make the theatre available to the community and artists for private rental.
- 620 stadium-style seats
- Main floor and balcony
- Lobby and concessions area