Step Inside: Brooklyn Paramount - Learn About This BK Concert Venue (2024)

Step Inside: Brooklyn Paramount - Learn About This BK Concert Venue (1)

The wraparound marquee is shining again at the Brooklyn Paramount. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Paramount houses a staggering, nearly century-long legacy beginning as “America’s first movie theater built for sound” and becoming a crucial bridge for burgeoning jazz and rock movements throughout the ’30s and ’50s. Reopened in 2024 as a classic concert hall that grasps both the elegance of the original New York City theater palace and the cutting-edge capabilities of a modern music venue, find all the details behind the Brooklyn Paramount below.

Brooklyn Paramount History

The Brooklyn Paramount Theater originally opened in Downtown Brooklyn’s theater district on November 24, 1928. Designed in gilded baroque splendor by architects Rapp & Rapp, the groundbreaking venue was dubbed “America’s first movie theater built for sound” due to its intended purpose of screening films with audio, or “talkies.” Over the next several decades, the Paramount also became a hub within the New York boroughs for rapturous live performances, with artists such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly gracing the stage. The theater’s Wurlitzer organ with over 1,800 pipes also gained renown in its own right.

The theater and the attached 11-story tower above it were purchased by Long Island University (LIU) in 1954 and converted to classrooms, offices and eventually an auditorium for basketball games and gym events. Renamed the Schwartz Athletic Center, the venue was home to the LIU Blackbirds basketball team until 2005 and also hosted the USBL’s Brooklyn Kings before the league folded in 2007.

In 2023, Live Nation acquired a 25-year operating license and began the venue’s refurbishment process with Amsterdam-based architectural firm Arcadis. Despite the Brooklyn Paramount’s multiple updates and iterations, much of its original architectural flourishes remain intact as the arched, chandelier-brightened Grand Foyer welcomes guests back into the restored theater space with its high rococo-style ceiling and surrounding baroque statues. The Brooklyn Paramount officially reopened with a headlining performance by brothers Damian Marley and Stephen Marley on March 27, 2024.

Get to Know Brooklyn Paramount

Step Inside: Brooklyn Paramount - Learn About This BK Concert Venue (2)

Venue Features

The look and layout of the Brooklyn Paramount largely reflects its nearly century-old original design. Starting from the flashy front marquee and majestic Grand Foyer, guests enter into the legacy of the Paramount’s prestigious past while enjoying the luxury of its many modern amenities. Flashes of the venue’s signature dark blue-and-gold line the halls and theater space, which is divided into two floors between the ground floor and encircling balcony.

The Brooklyn Paramount was hailed as an architectural and technological marvel when it initially opened as the first theater designed to play sound with movies. Now, the revitalized performance space upholds its revolutionary reputation with a massive, state-of-the-art sound system. Even features as timeless as the ornate entryway ceiling have received an update with an innovative light installation projecting various designs and projections throughout the evening.

Additionally, guests can grab a drink and chat at Ella’s Lounge, Brooklyn Paramount’s VIP balcony lounge named in honor of Ella Fitzgerald, and Avena Lounge in the venue’s lower level. Both locations are decorated with past memorabilia from the theater and its past performers, though guests can only visit the former without missing any part of the show.

Seating and Viewing Options

The Brooklyn Paramount holds a capacity of 2,700 guests in both its standing room and less common seated configurations. Tickets for general admission allows concertgoers to take in a show from the expansive floor space and second-floor GA standing room, while VIP tickets at the Brooklyn Paramount grants access to designated VIP balcony sections and exclusive member boxes.

To find the different venue arrangements and viewing options, check out the Brooklyn Paramount seating chart.

Venue Accessibility

The Brooklyn Paramount is ADA-compliant from the main entrance to all services spanning concessions, merchandise stands and restrooms. Guests seeking accessible seating should purchase a general admission ticket for either the floor or VIP balcony and plan to arrive early to secure your preferred seating. For any specific accommodations in advance, contact the box office with at least two-days’ notice.

Parking and Admission at Brooklyn Paramount

The Brooklyn Paramount is located at 385 Flatbush Avenue Extension on the corner of and Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. Although the Brooklyn Paramount does not offer any designated parking, paid parking garages and street parking are both options nearby. Alternatively, the venue stands across from the Dekalb Station train station, which runs the B, Q and R trains, and is a short walk from the Nevins Street station, which hits the 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines.

Enter under the Brooklyn Paramount marquee but mind the venue policy that prohibits bags larger than 6″ x 9″, or 12″ x 6″ x 12″ if they’re clear. Guests are also not allowed to bring large signs and posters, professional camera equipment, drones, scooters, alcohol or illicit drugs, fireworks and more listed on the venue’s visitor page. Doors typically open one and a half to two hours before showtime.

Nearby Attractions

Food & Drink Near Brooklyn Paramount

Beverages are available at seven bars across the Brooklyn Paramount, while snacks like Bavarian pretzels and popcorn are also available at the all-cashless venue. Outside of the theater, concertgoers can cross the street to enjoy a slice of cheesecake and a classic diner experience at the original location of Brooklyn staple Junior’s, which has faced the Paramount since 1950. The Dekalb Market Hall is an all-day, global cuisine-spanning indoor cafeteria located one block from the venue, while notable New York offerings such as Xi’an Famous Foods and Shake Shack are also within walking distance.

Hotels Near Brooklyn Paramount

The Downtown Brooklyn location of the Brooklyn Paramount adds a wealth of accommodations nearby. Guests visiting from out-of-town can book lodging blocks away from the theater including the EVEN Hotel Brooklyn on Nevins Street, the Ace Hotel Brooklyn or Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown on Schermerhorn Street and the Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel on Duffield.

Step Inside: Brooklyn Paramount - Learn About This BK Concert Venue (2024)


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