PARAMOUNT, Stapleton

by Kevin Walsh

The Paramount Theatre, at 560 Bay Street near Prospect, is now likely Staten Island’s premier ‘ghost theater’ now that the St. George has been reactivated. It was designed by architects Rapp and Rapp with a contrasting orange brick façade, opening in 1935 with a capacity of 2500 seats and two pipe organs, an extravagant feature during the Depression. In its latter days, it became an adult movie venue in the 1970s, and later, a rock club hosting the likes of the B-52’s, Squeeze and The Ramones; the British band XTC played here in 1982, shortly before it gave up on public performances altogether. The interior has been gutted, but its beautiful outsides are still in view, stretching along Union Place.

Renovation and reopening attempts have been fitful. According to Cinematreasures, an $800K restoration was started in 2009 but the owner ran out of money and plans were halted the next year, but the owner ran out of money and plans were halted the next year. In 2016, another restoration was going to turn it into a restaurant and catering hall. but when I passed by in late 2018, things did not seem imminent.

Untapped Cities and Scouting NY, which have more resources and persuasive power than your humble webmaster, have been able to get inside. Now and then, the old theater hosts television filming.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Bill February 5, 2019 - 9:46 pm

It’s too bad you can’t see it from the train any more, with new construction blocking it.

James February 8, 2019 - 7:24 pm

a little known band called Metallica played there in April of 1983

Rocco Buttofoco February 10, 2019 - 12:48 pm

Saw some great metal shows there around 1982-83, Manowar, Metallica-Venom, Exciter, Rods, Vanderberg. I believe it was being called the Paramount Nightclub or something like that. Most of the theatre seats had been removed and replaced by high top tables and a few bars. There might have been a couple of aisles of seats towards the back. Staten Island telephone poles were plastered with posters of the show and I drove around and took a couple after each show. I keep two, but sold a couple over the past years. They for a couple hundred each. I believe the Manowar ticket stub even sold for around a hundred. Great times and memories…

Margie Stephens December 9, 2019 - 7:17 pm

Are there any theaters that still show movies? Or have they all been vclosed


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