The Grand Old Paramount

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in The Film

paramount cener for the arts, bristol, tennessee

The Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee is a grand old theater.(Photo: Stephen Newton)

As you know, we were honored to be selected by the Push Film Festival in Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia. Push is our fourth film festival and since it’s a 30 minute drive away, the closest to us.  The screening of “Outcasts: Surviving the Culture of Rejection” was held at the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts, on the Tennessee side of State Street, which divides the town right down the middle between Tennessee and Virginia. The festival jurors awarded the film with a Certificate of Excellence.

It was exciting to see “Outcasts” on the big screen in such a grand old theater. It was like stepping back in time when we took our seats inside. Before the show, pipe organ music from a giant Wurlitzer organ (you can see the pipes) fills the entire theater…and suddenly you have time-traveled to an era when movie theaters offered much more than popcorn. As a boy, I knew that once I took my seat in the darkened theater, I was in a different world where anything was possible,  and more than eager to suspend my disbelief and live inside the film with the actors. I had that same feeling today at the Paramount.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount is an excellent example of the art deco motion picture palaces built in the late 1920’s and early 30’s. The restoration in the 90s retained the Paramount’s opulent, richly embellished interior. The original Venetian-styled murals and the art deco ambiance were faithfully recreated. The auditorium holds 756. You’ll feel as though you are a part of the performance from every seat in the theater.

After the screening, there was a Q & A for nearly 45 minutes. We answered a lot of questions and were happy to see many long-time “Outcasts” fans in the audience, like Maura Ubinger, who have seen the film on television, online, from a DVD, or at other local screenings and were there to support the festival and us. It was a great day for the film.

Hats off to Rusty Sheridan and  a big thank you to everyone connected to the first annual Push Film Festival.

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