Having raised more than half a million dollars, The Blue Stocking Club of Bristol (BSC), a 100-year-old community service group, has concluded its Centennial Campaign to light the way to a sustainable future for the Paramount in Bristol.
The BSC has funded the purchase and installation of state-of-the-art LED stage lighting and wireless communication systems and is now committing funds to repair damage done to the interior of the building by years of water leaks. Over the next several months, the Paramount theater’s walls, ceilings and murals, from the stage to the front door, will be beautifully restored by experts in historic decoration and architecture.
“Kudos to the Blue Stocking Club for the extraordinary success of its Centennial Campaign,” said Miles Marek, executive director of The Paramount Center for the Arts. “Though they had to cancel their gala event, these incredible ladies have graciously redirected funds so that we can make crucial repairs to our building, survive this shutdown, and still have an amazing event in fall of 2021.”
The BSC’s Centennial gala, originally scheduled for Nov. 1, 2020, has transitioned to a benefit concert to Sept. 26, 2021, titled “An Evening with Amy Grant with special guests The Time Jumpers.” All admissions granted by the Blue Stocking Club to its canceled gala will be honored at the concert.
In addition, a limited number of seats will be made available to Ghost Light campaign donors at $500 and above per admission. All donations will be doubled by matching grants from the Ghost Light Campaign’s generous sponsors. Funds raised will provide urgently needed operating capital to carry the Paramount through to its 2021 reopening.
In 2021, the Paramount Center for the Arts will celebrate 90 years as a cultural landmark in the heart of historic downtown Bristol presenting live music, dance, comedy, film, theater and family entertainment. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its design is characteristic of Art Deco movie palaces built in the 1930s. The Paramount made its mark presenting Hollywood Blockbusters, but it presented far more than just movies. Judy Garland, legendary for her role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” made an appearance on its stage, as did famed silver screen cowboy and music star, Gene Autry. Roy Acuff, long known as the king of country music, staged numerous concerts at the Paramount during the 1940s and ’50s.
The theater is owned and operated by the Paramount Foundation for the benefit of the community and the arts. Details are available online at paramountbristol.org.