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Historical photo of the Majestic theater with sign that reads: "Emerson College: Theatre soon." The Majestic Theatre first opened its doors in 1903. The building was designed by John Galen Howard and the interior shows off gloriously ornate Beaux-Arts architectural style. In 1955, the theater was sold to Sack Cinemas and served as the Saxon movie theater for nearly 30 years. You can still see the old Saxon vertical sign in this photo. By the time it was purchased by Emerson College in 1983, the theater had fallen into considerable disrepair. Emerson spent 20 years restoring the Majestic to its former glory and reopened the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College in May 2003.
The Paramount theater's vertical sign and marquee are brightly lit on the art deco building. On the building to the right of the theater, color lights behind arched windows form an image of the American flag. In 2010, the Paramount Theatre re-opened for the first time in 34 years. Built in 1932, the Paramount Theatre was a one of Boston's great movie palaces. It closed in 1976, and was designated a Boston landmark in 1984. Emerson acquired the Paramount in 2005 and hired Elkus Manfredi Architects to restore and re-imagine this historic art deco gem. It reopened in 2010 as the Paramount Center, which contains the main theatre as well as a black box theater, film screening room, rehearsal studios, practice rooms, sound stage, scene shop, classrooms and offices for faculty and staff. ArtsEmerson programed film, theatre and film events at the Paramount, contributing to the city’s rich cultural offerings.
Two stacked photos of The Paramount Theatre's main house, before and after renovation. The land on which the Paramount stands has a history of earlier performance spaces dating back to 1836. Former spaces include the Melodeon, Gaiety, and Bijou. The Paramount Theatre first opened its doors on February 25, 1932 as one of the premiere art deco movie palaces built by Paramount Studios, but it closed in 1976 and fell into disrepair. Emerson purchased the building in 2005. Architects from the firm Elkus Manfredi worked with Evergreene Architectural Arts to replicate the paint and decorative motifs throughout the theatre and restore it to its original appearance. Emerson College reopened the Paramount Theatre to the public in March 2010. Today, the Paramount Center includes the adjoining "arcade" building providing theater space, film screening room, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and a dormitory. Info sources: Boston Globe (3/3/2010); ArtsEmerson.org; Emerson.edu (Paramount Mainstage).
2000 - 2015