Iconic Paramount Theater to be demolished

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Work begins this week for the demolition of the vacant Paramount Theatre.

A crew from Cleveland will be in town, setting up a large crane and barricades to close Hazel Street between West Federal and West Commerce. That stretch of road will be closed for about 90 days, starting Wednesday.

West Federal Street, between Phelps Street and Hazel, will also closed Wednesday for about 30 days.

The city said detours will be posted.

The actual demolition will start around July 8.

Back in its heyday, 1,700 people would pack inside to watch vaudeville acts, silent movies and eventually major motion pictures.

Several attempts were made to revive the theatre, but all failed after the building was found to be structurally unsound.

“What we call this situation is demolition by neglect,” said Phil Kidd of Defend Youngstown. “The issue was not within now or the last couple years, it was the fact there was a hole in the roof that allowed 25 years go to remain and the ownership of this building over that time did nothing.”

Once the demolition is completed in September, the city will put up a parking lot.

Thanks to efforts by several residents, pieces of the building’s terra-cotta were saved and will be used for a seating area around the lot.


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