The Paramount Theatre in Anderson opened its box office to moviegoers for the first time in more than 40 years Wednesday with presale tickets for their first film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Although the theatre’s first movie will not show until Dec. 21, the Anderson community has already shown positive response to the reopening.
In 1989, the theater underwent major renovation after the Paramount Heritage Foundation purchased the property. Since then, owners have struggled to make a profit and pay loans, but the doors have stayed open.
Jacqueline Macelaru, the event coordinator for Paramount, started her position earlier this year and has since been implementing social media techniques to better reach people in Anderson and surrounding communities. She said the movie night event is just one more way to get people to see what the Paramount has to offer.
“My goal is to grow this community because [the Paramount Theatre] is such a beautiful and magical place,” Macelaru said. “I don’t think that a lot of people know that we’re still here or that we have events. I just want to let people know that their support is appreciated and needed.”
When Macelaru made the first announcement on Facebook for the theater Oct. 16, it reached more than 45,000 people overnight.
After six weeks, the post has 1,500 shares with over 169 comments from the community expressing excitement and nostalgia. One commenter said they used to walk to the theater ever Sunday with their sister when they were younger, and another said she met her husband at the marquee.
Randy Hammel, the executive director of the Paramount Theatre, has overseen the theater for the past four years. He said he has been a supporter of the arts and a member of the entertainment industry for his whole life. He also said he believes there’s value in preserving the historic theater for future generations.
“When kids walk out on this old stage, it’s like, where are you going to go to find something like this again?” Hammel said.
Because there has been so much talk and reaction to the start-up of an old tradition, Matt Rust, the executive director of the Madison County Visitors Bureau, said he’s interested what the Paramount Theatre will do with that energy and where they will take it.
“If everything goes well, I know it’ll be good for Anderson, and it’ll be good for the community,” Hammel said.
Contact Bailey Shelton with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.