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Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre renovation will begin this fall

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The theatre’s elaborate Rococo ceiling will be fully restored

Courtesy of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

Work will soon move forward on Brooklyn’s historic Paramount Theatre, long used by Long Island University's Brooklyn campus as an athletic facility. The restoration was announced back in 2015 and developers are gearing up to begin work this fall, according to DNAinfo.

LIU and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the group behind the Barclays Center, signed the 2015 deal to bring 1,500 seats back to the originally 3,000-seat venue on Flatbush and DeKalb avenues, in Fort Greene. The rest of the space will continue to operate as a practice facility for Long Island University athletics.

The developer estimates the renovation will take two years, in which the athletic facility will move elsewhere on campus. The plan is to restore many of the original details of the 1928 theater, including its elaborate Rococo ceiling and a Wurlitzer organ.

Since its opening, the Paramount hosted acts like Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella FItzgerald. Then the university purchased the building in 1950 and turned the theater space into the home court for its Brooklyn Blackbird basketball team.

The theater in 1928

In the Paramount’s second life as a theater, BS&E plans to host everything from music, comedy and boxing events. LIU students will be offered jobs and internships at the venue, as well. LIU’s president, Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, told DNAinfo that “LIU Brooklyn is proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to restore the historic Paramount to its grandeur.”

A basketball court built under the theatre's ornate vaulted ceiling.