The Paramount Theater brings back the blade
The Paramount Theater celebrated the conclusion of the 10th Anniversary of its restoration in a big way on Dec. 15. The Theater lit the newly-installed, reconstructed 33′ historic vertical blade sign for the first time since the 1960s for a crowd gathered on Charlottesville’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall.
The lively community celebration began at approximately 5:00PM with performances by local community groups, including Charlottesville High School Knightengales, Blue Ridge Irish Music School, The Christ Episcopal Youth Singers, William Walter with Gary Green, DMR (Dreams Made Real) Adventures. Complimentary activities for children were also offered including face painting by Sharon Lawler, balloon artist Jason LeBlanc, an activity by the Virginia Discovery Museum and more.
Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe donated cookies for the crowd, and Harvest Moon provided hot chocolate and warm beverages, while The Paramount supplied complimentary popcorn.
At 5:30PM, Chris Holden, Paramount Board Chair, welcomed the crowd and shared some of the history of the restoration of the Theater. David Toscano, the Virginia House of Delegates Democratic Leader read Joint Resolution No. 5255 that was passed by the Virginia General Assembly under his leadership, commending The Paramount in celebration of the tenth anniversary since the reopening of the restored theater. Chris Holden then announced that the $175,000 fundraising goal to complete the Blade
Restoration project had been met, and credited local foundation, The Perry Foundation, for the final $9,000 gift that put the campaign over the top. Holden also thanked the community at large for their outpouring of support for the project, stating: “We are so grateful for the overwhelming support the Theater has received from the community and sincerely thank all of the individuals, businesses and organizations that have rallied around The Paramount throughout the 10th Anniversary celebration.”
The Blade Sign, the final remaining element to fully complete the restoration of The Paramount Theater, which began in 1992, was dedicated to: “The Children of Charlottesville – Past, Present, and Future Generations.” Youth from the crowd joined Chris Holden on stage and assisted with the official lighting of the sign for the first time. Civic Access sponsored the sign language interpreting services for the presentation and lighting of the Blade Sign.
Following the Illumination, The Paramount invited everyone with a “Bring Back the Blade” button inside for a special holiday screening of Elf that began at 7:00PM. CarpetPlus and Z95.1 generously sponsored the screening of Elf.