(Host) Back in 2000, a sold out crowd celebrated the grand re-opening of
Rutland’s Paramount Theatre. It’s been a hub of live entertainment ever since, but starting this weekend, the Paramount stage will also play host to the movies.
VPR’s Nina Keck reports.
(20th century fox fanfare)
(Keck) Audiences at the Paramount haven’t heard that sound since the early 1970s when movies like Young Frankenstein and Jaws were playing. The Paramount went out of business in 1975 and sat empty for decades until its restoration ten years ago. Now on Saturday, big screen cinema comes back.
(Gone with the Wind theme)
(Keck) The Paramount’s Executive Director Bruce Bouchard says they’re kicking off their classic movie series with 1939’s Gone with the Wind.
(Bouchard) "We’re saying come down and see it in the new enhanced, just released BlueRay – recolored, remastered, resounded re everything. And get the big screen experience it’s a whole different universe."
(Keck) In December they’ll show holiday favorites like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. Then in January the line up includes Citizen Kane, Some like it Hot and Singing in the Rain."
(music) Singing in the Rain
(Bouchard) "If this classics series catches on – if people show up and support it, I’ll put 100 dates on the screen. I’ll start booking this place every hole I have and we’ll be running movies like crazy."
(Keck) And not just older films. Bouchard says they plan to show the complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and are looking into showing what’s known as second run movies. Getting to this point wasn’t easy the executive director says. They had to purchase a projector, build a screen and install costly new sound equipment. With help from the Vermont Arts Council, board members and the community, they raised over $31-thousand dollars to fund the project. Bouchard believes it will be a good investment for the theater and community.
(Bouchard) "That means anyone in this town can dress their two kids up, come to the Paramount for an evening out – now the theater is a success – a real success because it now truly will belong to everyone."
(Keck) The Parmount’s efforts are especially well timed as Rutland’s only other commercial movie theater closed last month.
For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.