View from the stage of the historic Paramount Theater. Photo: David Lamb Photography, 1996
The Paramount Theater
Built in 1929 and restored in 1989, this historic
Anderson landmark is one of only a few "atmospheric" theaters
remaining in the United States. Believed to have been designed by
famed theater architect John Eberson, its spectacular auditorium
features a blue sky ceiling, twinkling stars and wispy clouds,
projected onto the dome-shaped ceiling. Its ornate side walls
create the ambiance of a Spanish courtyard.
In 1981, the building was in shambles, its owners in
debt, and the county was about to demolish the theater. Committed
to saving the building, the newly formed Paramount Heritage
Foundation awarded the Conrad Schmitt Studios the task of
restoration. Nearly exact replicas of lighting and fixtures,
forty-one paint colors, and a fortune in gold leaf sheets were used
to complete the renovation.
A separate restoration of the Grande Page Theatre
Organ, valued at $500,000, was also undertaken. The Page organ is
one of a few remaining in the United States in its original
The 1,500-seat theater has featured great Hollywood
films and renowned entertainers, including Frank Sinatra, Nat King
Cole, Louis Armstrong, the Mills Brothers, and the ventriloquist
Max Terhune. The theater, which opened as a movie palace showing
the Marx Brothers in Cocoanuts, has the second largest screen in
Indiana. The theater also has a 7,000-square-foot ballroom on the
Documentation includes a text report, a video,
postcards of elaborate theater interiors, and newspaper
Originally submitted by: David M. McIntosh, Representative (2nd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.