Digital Storytime: How Charlottesville Got Its Theater Back

Round up the littles – it’s storytime! Written by Jane Goodman and illustrated by Keith Damiani, the 2002 children’s story How Charlottesville Got Its Theater Back is a picture book about Murphy the Mouse and the town of Charlottesville’s efforts to save the historic Paramount Theater. Click the video below to watch!

To purchase a physical copy of the book along with even more Paramount swag, sign your young one up for Paramount Kids Club! You can also opt to receive a copy of How Charlottesville Got Its Theater Back when you make a $25 donation to the Theater, or visit our online store to purchase it directly. Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times!

Blast From the Past: Soweto Gospel Choir

The beautiful voices of the Soweto Gospel Choir rang through The Paramount’s sold-out auditorium in 2018. The Choir, which draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto, was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music. The Soweto Gospel Choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music, and its members did just that when they brought their lively energy to The Paramount’s stage. The Theater’s Director of Marketing, Maran Garland, described the show as “absolutely breathtaking.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Sir James Galway & Lady Jeanne Galway

Sir James Galway, “The Man with the Golden Flute,” and Lady Jeanne Galway, one of the leading female flute soloists of the decade, showcased their legendary talents on The Paramount’s stage this past fall. The husband-wife pair’s performance was made extra special when a group of flutists wearing party hats took to the stage to play for Lady Jeanne in honor of her recent birthday.

The Paramount’s Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Cade Wiberg, recalled a special moment after the show: “I remember the halls were filled with passionate fans of the virtuoso flutist Sir James Galway and fellow performer Lady Jeanne Galway. Not only did the pair perform for over 2 hours, but they both agreed to sign merch and meet their fans for over an hour afterwards. After a long line of satisfied patrons were able to get their special mementos and memorabilia signed, James and Jeanne’s agent pushed for them to wrap it up so he could drive them to their hotel. Still in line was a woman with her young daughter who had been waiting since the end of the show. The mother mentioned her daughter had just begun learning the flute (she was about 8 years old), and she was a fan of Sir James’s performance style. The mother asked for an autograph for her daughter, and despite the pushback from their agent, Sir James prompted the girl to come forward and not only autographed her CD, but also took a picture with her. The mother and daughter were ecstatic.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Save the Date: #GivingTuesdayNow is May 5

Join The Paramount and thousands of other nonprofit organizations around the world in #GivingTuesdayNow on Tuesday, May 5! Launched as a response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, Giving Tuesday is a global day of support and unity.

The Paramount is facing a devastating loss of revenue due to the cancellation of 75+ events. Not only will your gift will help protect Charlottesville’s community Theater during these challenging times, it will also ensure The Paramount is ready and able to lead the charge in reopening Charlottesville with the highest safety measures in place to protect our community. Our Giving Tuesday goal is $2,500 – you can help us reach it by making a donation. Don’t want to wait until May 5 to donate? You can donate now, and we’ll count your generosity toward our goal!

Blast From the Past: Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination

Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination is a beloved holiday event featuring joy, merriment, and fun for the whole family. The Paramount hosted “Community Cares and Crafts” in 2016 for the 19th Annual Grand Illumination. Local nonprofits and event sponsors provided fun activities and games for the kids, such as face painting, concessions, and photos with Ms. Claus in the Theater’s lobby. After the tree-lighting ceremony, The Paramount offered a free screening of the 2003 holiday classic Elf, starring Will Ferrell. This free holiday movie tradition continued in 2017 with A Christmas Story and in 2018 with Home Alone. And it wouldn’t be a party without Santa, who ventured out onto the marquee to greet the crowd! What’s your favorite part of Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination?

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Golden Dragon Acrobats

The day after Thanksgiving in 2015, the Golden Dragon Acrobats leapt, twirled, and danced across The Paramount’s stage. One of the most distinguished Chinese acrobatic companies in the U.S., the Dallas-based troupe has performed in all 50 states and in more than 65 countries. The Dragons delighted the audience in showcasing their juggling, balancing, and acrobatic skills with chairs, hoops, tables, balls, and more!

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

The Paramount’s First Ever Trivia Tuesday

Welcome to The Paramount’s first-ever Trivia Tuesday with your host, Cade Wiberg, Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator for the Theater! Watch the video to hear this week’s trivia questions, then leave your answers in the comments on our Facebook or Instagram post. The first person to answer ALL THREE questions correctly will win two popcorn passes. The contest will close at noon tomorrow (Wednesday) when we update this post with the answers and the winner. Good luck!

Update: See the answers below! You can see who won by visiting our Facebook and Instagram pages.

1. Which member of Crosby, Stills & Nash is the only member of the three to have never performed at The Paramount? 
Answer: Stills
2. Which film franchise screened by The Paramount inspired the specialty drink “The Shirley Temple of Doom?”
Answer: Indiana Jones
3. How many pounds (lbs) of popcorn did The Paramount sell last year? (Be the closest guesser without going over!)
Answer: 9,258 lbs

Blast From the Past: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama first visited Charlottesville in 1979 and again in 1998, and The Paramount was fortunate enough to host him for his third visit in 2012. Several Paramount staff members shared stories from this unforgettable event.

Upon meeting Sue Green, who was The Paramount’s Security Head/Coordinator at the time, the Dalai Lama immediately played a prank on her. She was helping him up a set of steps when he suddenly put all his weight on her, pretending he needed help walking. “I was thinking to myself, ‘Oh gosh, I can’t carry him around, what am I going to do?’” Sue recalled. She realized it was a joke when he started chuckling and walking normally again. “After that, he held my hand all day as I escorted him around the building. At one point,” Sue added, “he wanted to brush his teeth. We had cordoned off a restroom for him to use, but he insisted on brushing his teeth in the fourth floor kitchen, where someone who was washing dishes got quite the surprise! His Holiness wasn’t what I expected; he was very playful and funny.”

Cathy von Storch, The Paramount’s Education & Outreach Manager, shared an email from the day after the event, sent by Jason King, who was the Theater’s House Manager at the time. Jason’s email reads:

“This event touched so many people, especially the local Tibetan community who got to realize a dream come true in our building. Not only did they get to have a private audience with His Holiness, but also the Prime Minister of Tibet, Lobsang Sangay, which is a VERY rare occurrence on US soil. It’s difficult to really grasp the significance of this private meeting, but please know that this was truly special. Yesterday was a highlight in the lives of all that attended, and how lucky are we that the special feeling the audience now carries with them is associated with our building, and that we got to assist in touching their lives in such a significant and meaningful way. Every time an audience member walks by the Theater now, they will be reminded of feelings they had while in our building yesterday.

“Let’s also not lose sight of the day our special guest, Dani, got to have. Dani was the 14-year-old girl who traveled down from Delaware to be in the same room as His Holiness, and we were able to make her dream come true by getting them to meet. When you see the pictures from that meeting, you’ll see that she defined the theme of yesterday’s discussion: ‘Compassionate Care.’ You’ll see how His Holiness truly cared, and was truly compassionate to her suffering. Rob Garland was able to capture a very special moment in her life when His Holiness bent over and touched his forehead to hers. Amazing. I’m not sure I can come up with words to describe how wonderful that moment was for this little girl who has suffered her entire life.”

Chris Eure, The Paramount’s Executive Director, was part of the greeting team with the Charlottesville City Councilors that day. “We each received a personal blessing,” she said, “and His Holiness wrapped our hands with a prayer shawl that I still have in prize possession. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I can say he had such an electrifying yet calming presence; it was really ‘magical.’ I owe that experience to Jason, who Cathy referenced, as he insisted I needed to be part of that welcoming group to represent the Theater. I’m not a celebrity hound, so I don’t usually force myself into these situations, but when Jason said I needed to be there for the Theater, I acquiesced, and it has been one of my fondest memories.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers