Historic Downtown eNews  |  Archive

Paramount Center for the Arts to Re-Light the Marquee

August 05, 2014

On March 1, 2014, the Paramount Center for the Arts began a campaign entitled “Watt’s Up” – a drive to update and relight its historical marquee.

We are pleased to announce that the campaign has come to a successful completion.

Work began this weekend to refurbish this treasure of downtown Bristol. You will begin noticing a lot of activity at the entrance to the Paramount Center for the Arts as we work to restore the luster and the luminance of this State Street treasure.

The Paramount marquee first lit-up State Street on opening night February 21, 1931 and continued until 1979 when the last movie was shown. Thanks to a few community minded and dedicated citizens of Bristol, the Paramount reopened in 1991 as The Paramount Center for the Performing Arts and has been referred to as "a catalyst in the revitalization of Bristol and in the growth of the entire Tri-Cities region."

To all of the people who supported the Watt’s Up Campaign and made this project a reality. Diane Dempsey, Executive Director of the Paramount said, “We were thrilled with the outpouring of support and how people from all over the country purchased bulbs to help us exceed our goal.” Dempsey said that 2174 bulbs were sold for a total of $42,995.

The Watt’s Up Co-Chairs, Pam Balaban, Mary Beth Rainero and Diane Dempsey, the Board of Directors and staff wish to thank our friends in Blountville, Bluff City, Bristol, Church Hill, Elizabethton, Gray, Greenville, Johnson City, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Mosheim, Piney Flats, Shady Valley, Tennessee, along with Abingdon, Adkins, Bristol, Castlewood, Cedar Bluff, Damascus, Gate City, Glade Springs, Grundy, Hiltons, Lebanon, Martinsville, Meadowview, Richmond, Roanoke and Wise, Virginia for their generosity.

In addition, a special thanks to our distant friends in Hillsborough, CA, Penrose, CO, Clearwater, FL, Sugar Hill, GA, Louisville, KY, Baltimore MD, Elk Park, NC, Sugar Grove, NC, Fairport, NY, Las Vegas, NV, Aurora, OH, Charleston, SC, Mt. Pleasant, SC, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and Lewisburg, WV for their generous contributions.

A very special thanks to Hutton Electric, Lighthouse Supply, Mr. David Browning,
Bristol Herald Courier and WCYB TV5.

Please join us for entertainment by Like Brothers and light refreshments
as we celebrate the relighting of the Paramount Marquee

Thursday, August 7, 2014
Festivities begin at 8:00PM
We will relight the marquee at 9:00PM