Paramount Theatre

1700 Main Street,
Springfield, MA 01103

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Related Websites

Paramount Theater, Springfield (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Daytz Theatre Enterprises Corp., Paramount Pictures Inc., Publix Theaters Corporation, Western Massachusetts Theaters

Architects: Ernest F. Carlson

Functions: Special Events

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Julia Sanderson Theatre, Hippodrome Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 413.787.0600

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Paramount Theatre

Built in 1929 by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later Paramount Pictures Inc.), at a cost of over $1 million, the Paramount Theatre was the most ornate theatre in Western Massachusetts in its glory days as a picture palace. The Paramount Theatre was opened September 29, 1929 with Nancy Carroll in “Dance of Life”. It was equipped with a Wurltzer 3 manual 11 ranks theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Joe Alexander.

It remained a movie theatre until the 1960’s when it began to find sporadic use as a mixed center for movies, concerts and live performances. By 1970 it was operated by Daytz Theatre Enterprises Corp. The theatre was also once run by Western Massachusetts Theatres which at one time owned almost all of the single screen palaces in the area including the Rivoli Theatre, Calvin Theatre, and others.

It was not until 1999 that the theatre had a stable operator again, when it was purchased, restored, and converted into a lavish night club and performance space. The main floors seats were removed, but the 1,100 balcony seats were retained and restored. The theatre underwent a $1.3 million makeover and was reopened as the Hippodrome Theatre. The original organ is due to be restored in the future and the marquee was also changed to reflect the new name.

The Hippodrome Theatre, after years of sitting alone as Springfield continued to wither, is back. In 2009, it was renamed Paramount Theatre and is under renovation. It reopened April 7, 2010 after renovations and the installation of a new sprinkler system. Sadly it has hardly been used since 2011.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

JustinMarsh on June 19, 2011 at 1:04 am

“As Springfield continued to wither..?” Has the author of this write-up visited Springfield in the past half decade or so? The opposite of “withering” is currently occurring in Metro Center Springfield.

With all of the new arts and entertainment organizations that have formed in Springfield within the past few years (Apremont Arts jumps immediately to mind;) and all of the bohemians, LGBT residents, and empty-nesters who have recently moved to Metro Center condominiums, in my opinion, this city is likely to “take off” within the next few years (especially in light of the billions of dollars in infrastructure, medical, entertainment, and medical construction.)

As to the Paramount, it was recently purchased by Herbie Flores' Farmer Workers' Council – a group interested in bringing more arts to Springfield. Currently, the former Hippodrome is being renovated to the tune of $1.725 million. According to Mr. Flores, the Paramount will continue to host movies and concerts, but will also feature a new coffeehouse and upscale Spanish restaurant.

I realize that a lot of people who haven’t been to Springfield recently probably do not understand or know much about the renaissance currently underway in the city; however, in my opinion, many will likely know soon.

rivest266 on September 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm

This opened on September 29th, 1929. The grand opening ad is uploaded in the photo section.

gd14lawn on January 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Any word on any progress at this theater? I see that it was sold last summer but I can’t find any information about any renovations or plans to reopen.

I remember seeing Santana her in the 1980’s. I also saw Taj Mahal, who is from Springfieldat the Paramount.

spectrum on August 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm

WGGB website has an August 6 2012 article with the latest on the Paramount here:

It looks like it is currently closed. Bought in 2011 by the Farm Worker’s Council. The Council is proposing a $36,000,000 renovation to reopen it as an entertainment venue, with construction hoprfully to start Spring 2013.

No mention of how much fundraising still needs to be done. At least it has already had a lot of renovations recently. Looking forward to hearing more news on progress.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on December 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

spectrum: It is still open with live concerts listed on their Facebook page.

spectrum on April 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Any update on the Paramount? I haven’t been able to find an official page. What is the URL for the facebook page?

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on September 13, 2017 at 8:58 am

This theater should be listed as closed. It hasn’t been except for one or two events since the Farm Worker’s Council bought it in 2011.

I’m hosting two photography workshops of the closed theater on Nov 4th. For more info and to sign up visit my Photo Workshops page

meredithlee on September 13, 2017 at 9:15 am

Very cool Matt Lambros, I wish I would be in Springfield for your workshop. I just walked by the Hippodrome to look at it for updates a few weeks ago, love that place.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on October 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

Check out my photographs and a short history of the Paramount at After the Final Curtain.

spectrum on October 10, 2018 at 11:11 am

Looks like things are going forward with the New England Farm Workers' Council’s plans to restore the Paramount Theatre into a performing arts center. They just received a $2,500.00 state grant which will be used this fall to replace the roof and secure the building for winter. Eventually they will be commencing a $41,000,000 restoration Paramount into a performing arts center. Their renovation plans also involve several other buildings in the immediate area. The retail/office front portion will be renovated into a boutique hotel. Previously they received a $3,700,000 federal grand to aid in creating design and development plans.

MassLive March 2018 article about the renovation project:

2017 Masslive feature story about the Paramount and its history:

MassLive 2017 article about the proposed restoration (includes photo gallery):

photo gallery of historical Paramount photos:

Paramount Facebook Page (no updates since 2015):

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