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Paramount Theater in Charlottesville wins national award

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The Paramount courtesy Rob Garland Photographers

The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville has been named the 2017 “Outstanding Historic Theatre” by the League of Historic American Theatres.

"We could not be more honored to receive this very distinguished award …” Chris Eure, the Paramount’s executive director, said in a statement. “None of this would be possible without the foresight of those who saved and restored our beautiful theater.”

The award recognizes a theater that demonstrates excellence through its community impact, programs and services and the restoration or rehabilitation of its historic structure. Former winners of the award include the Fabulous Fox in Atlanta; New York City Center; Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, N.J.;  and Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

Eure accepted the award at the League's 41st annual conference held in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The Paramount originally opened on Thanksgiving Eve in 1931 and became a landmark in Charlottesville.
After more than 40 years in operation, the theatre closed in 1974.

In 1992, the nonprofit Paramount Theater Inc. purchased the building, according to the theatre’s website, and work began on rehabilitating the building. The Washington, D.C., firm Martinez & Johnson Architecture, in partnership with Charlottesville firm Bushman Dreyfus Architects, was hired to assist with the project.

The $16.2 million dollar project included not only the theater’s restoration but also the creation of new facilities enabling The Paramount to move into a new role as a regional performing-arts center. These modifications included backstage areas, an orchestra pit and a three-story annex building with computerized box office, a ballroom and meeting spaces.

The Paramount reopened to the public on Dec 15, 2004. Today, the theater hosts many performers, screens movies and offers educational programming.

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