Hudson Valley News
8:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Peekskill Seeks New Group to Operate Paramount

The City of Peekskill will issue a request for proposals for a new operator to run its Paramount Theatre, which was closed recently by the current non-profit organization, the Paramount Center for the Arts.

“The city is being very aggressive in protecting this vital community asset while we seek out a viable proposal to turn this theater into the economic juggernaut it really should be,” said Mayor Mary Foster.

She said whoever takes over the operation, would be required to offer a wide array of entertainment.

“The programming needs to reach audiences of all ages and it doesn’t just have to be music”, Foster said.   “We’ve had a number of wonderful comedians in the past, we have had dance groups that have come, theater groups that have come, so it doesn’t need to be rock ‘n roll, it doesn’t just need to music. It can very varied cultural offerings, things people want and fill the house.”

Common Council Member Kathie Talbot said the city wants to explore all options both private and nonprofit.

The city would like the RFP to be issued by November 1 with a new operator selected by the end of the year, said Foster.

The 1,100-seat theater opened originally in 1930 as a Paramount Pictures movie house. That company sold it in 1973 and the city took it over in 1977 due to a tax default.  The theater recently underwent a major restoration that brought the building back to its original glory. 

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