You’re invited to:
The 29th Annual 2013 Art Deco Preservation Ball
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Restoration of One of Art Deco’s Grandest Landmarks, the Paramount Theatre
Saturday, April 27, 2013 | The Paramount Theatre | Oakland, CA
The event will feature entertainment from Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, with Carla Normand and Frederick Hodges.
The evening will also include performances by The DecoBelles, Anne Gibson, A Concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer. Craig Roberts of KCEA will proside over the event as Master of Ceremonies. White Tie, Black Tie and Formal Attire of the 1920s 1930s and 1940s requested.
For more information and to register visit artdecosociety.org
This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 restoration of the Oakland Paramount.
When the Oakland Symphony thought to purchase the Oakland Paramount in 1972, they hired Jack Bethards to make it happen. One of his goals: to do an authentic restoration. It was something unheard of at the time in 1973 and were it not for Jack Bethards, there would simply be no Paramount Theatre as we know it today.
Jack hired Peter Botto as manager of the restoration project, Peter stayed on as General Manager until his retirement in 1999. I was hired by Peter in 1988, to do restoration work and repairs, including damages after the 1989 earthquake, and have been at it ever since. The main focus has been on regilding, furniture restoration and artwork in recent years, but projects on a building this size never end.
Longtime and much loved THS member and theatre historian Steve Levin was a consultant on the Paramount’s restoration from the beginning, and stayed on for many years. I knew him from the Paramount, he was still giving tours there when I was hired. He was often quoted, “the Paramount was the Nation’s fifth Movie Palace conversion to live performance, but the first to do an authentic restoration, and to me, it is by far the most successful. Few can approach the authenticity of the Paramount project, most don’t even try.”
Leslee Stewart has been General Manager since 1999. Her continued commitment to the restoration of the building is incredible, her support makes everything I do there possible.
When the Paramount was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, it was the youngest building ever to be recognized as architecturally and culturally significant. The listing opened the door for others to follow.
In the overall wider scheme of historic theatres and the preservation of them, the Paramount’s restoration is an important anniversary to note. It heralded a changing attitude toward the importance given to this unique American architectural wonder, the Movie Palace.
Visit the Oakland Paramount online here.