It gained acclaim as a theatre and hosted a who’s who of Hollywood stars, visiting royalty and celebrities.
Nowadays the stunning Paramount Theatre in West Palm Beach, Florida is attended by churchgoers.
The Paramount was designed in 1926 by Joseph Urban and who also designed the nearby Mar-a-Lago that’s now the Florida retreat for US President, Donald Trump.
According to Wikipedia Urban designed the Paramount to bathe the audience in warmth and a general atmosphere of colourful gaiety.
“The theatre,” Urban explained, “is not an escape from the life around, but a part of it, fitting into the rhythm of the community. The architecture of the Paramount Theatre … is accordingly simple, spacious, Southern.”
So much so that on December 12, 1973, the theatre was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. And in 1982 it was designated a ‘Town Landmark’ by the City of Palm Beach and so avoiding threats of demolition.
The Paramount Theatre Building now houses the Paramount Church, a non-denominational Christian church.
As well, the Paramount building is home to 30 tenants including wonderful art galleries, clothing stores, jewellery shops, a wine merchant and nine non-profit organisations including the Palm Beach Police Foundation.
But one of the major attractions is the huge historic photographic exhibit and open daily to the public without charge.
More than 2,000 first-run moves were shown at the Paramount between it’s opening in 1927 and 1980 when it eventually closed and there is many, many reminders of those movies along the corridors.
And one of the first pictures to grab my attention was at the very entrance to the theatre with a photo of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and American Wallis Simpson, and with the Duke later abdicating the British throne to marry the twice divorced Simpson later in 1927).