From 1926 until the 1960s, The Paramount changed names several times—including a brief stint as the Julia Sanderson Theater, honoring a famous actress from Springfield. However, it remained a movie theater until the 1960s, when it began to find use as a mixed use venue for movies, rock concerts, and other live performances. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 1999, the venue was purchased and restored by Steven Stein and Michael Barrasso of Paramount Realty Investment LLC/Creative Theater Concepts. At that time, it was turned into a lavish nightclub and performance space. The venue’s main floor seats were removed; however, the 1,100 balcony seats were retained and restored. The theater underwent a $1.3 million renovation in 1999, and was reopened as the Hippodrome. The original organ was restored and the marquee was changed to reflect the theater’s new name. The Hippodrome became a popular nightclub and concert venue during the 2000s. In 2011, the theater was purchased by the New England Farm Worker’s Council. As of 2011, the Paramount Theater is in the midst of a $1.725 million renovation to once again become a theater and performance space.
This fabulous heritage cinema is one for those who want to relive the golden age of movie-going. It cost a staggering $1m when it was built in 1926, but like many of its kind fell into disrepair after the 1960s. In 1999 it was restored and became a live music venue and nightclub, but since 2011 almost $2m has been spent on returning the lovely art-deco building to its original purpose. Inside keep your eyes peeled for the cinema’s organ, in place since the silent era and still playable. If you are ever in need of a cabinet maker, click here.