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Paramount Theatre (photo credit After the Final Curtain)

Paramount Theatre

Long Branch, New Jersey, United States

Opened as an Atmospheric: 16th January 1931 (91 years ago)

Theatre first opened: 1st August 1912

Closed: 14th September 1959

Atmospheric Style: Spanish Courtyard

Architect: Leon Cubberley

Status: Demolished

Former Name: Broadway Theatre

Address: 142 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740 Link opens in new window


Overview

The 1,772-seat theatre opened as the Broadway Theatre at the start of August 1912, built by theatre magnate Walter Reade. Opening night was a pre-Broadway tryout of “The Girl from Montmartre” starring Richard Carle and Hattie Williams.

The theatre at its reopening as an Atmospheric in early 1931
The theatre at its reopening as an Atmospheric in early 1931

Over the years the theatre transitioned from vaudeville to movies, and one of the first films to be shown at the theatre was D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation Link opens in new window.

In 1930, the Paramount-Publix movie theatre chain took over management of the theatre and remodeled the theatre in an Atmospheric style with a Spanish courtyard theme, masterminded by architect was Leon Cubberley. Upon its reopening in early 1931, with the movie The Gang Buster Link opens in new window, the theatre was renamed the Paramount Theatre.

Like many movie theatres the Paramount struggled in the 1940s and particularly the 1950s due to the suburban expansion and introduction of multiplex movie theatres, and in mid-September 1959 the Paramount Theatre closed due to the declining audience. The theatre was later sold and used as a warehouse for Siperstein’s Paint.

In 1975 plans were considered to enclose the balcony with glass and have meals served from a restaurant to be installed in one of the adjoining stores. The theatre was planned to host live productions and movies, with a curved screen being lifted into the fly tower during live performances. By 2005 plans were drawn up for a complete revitalization of the immediate area including restoration of the theatre, however the plans fell through and Siperstein’s vacated the theatre around 2011. The theatre was ultimately demolished in mid-2017.

Information in part sourced from After the Final Curtain Link opens in new window and Cinema Treasures Link opens in new window.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
The redesigned Atmospheric style theatre as photographed upon its reopening on 16th January 1931, courtesy <i>Don Griffiths</i> via <i>Cinema Treasures</i> (JPG)
The redesigned Atmospheric style theatre as photographed upon its reopening on 16th January 1931, courtesy Don Griffiths via Cinema Treasures (JPG)
The theatre as photographed in 2012 by Matt Lambros from <i>After the Final Curtain</i> (JPG)
The theatre as photographed in 2012 by Matt Lambros from After the Final Curtain (JPG)
The theatre as photographed in 2012 by Matt Lambros from <i>After the Final Curtain</i> (JPG)
The theatre as photographed in 2012 by Matt Lambros from After the Final Curtain (JPG)
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Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

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