The Paramount Theatre of Abilene is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Restored in 1986 by a very generous anonymous benefactor, it is the cornerstone of Abilene's downtown revitalization. During its restoration, the technical capabilities of the theatre were updated and expanded to accomodate live performances as well as films. Complete with a Spanish-Moorish interior architectural theme, domed ceiling with passing clouds and twinkling stars, the theatre seats 1,199 in a split isle (no centre aisle) configuration.
The renovated stage and upgraded technical equipment have made the Paramount a state of the art performance space. The theatre can accommodate live theatre, musicals, concerts, film, opera, and dance performances, as well as business meetings, private parties, dinners, worship services, marketing seminars, receptions and weddings. During the theatre's restoration in 1986, the space was retrofitted with lighting, sound, and rigging equipment to make it a multi-use facility. Further renovations include a new sound installation in 2006, designed and installed by Gemini Sound of Dallas, Texas, and a 2009 upgrade to the theatre's film projection equipment, adding digital projection capabilities.
The Paramount is the home of Paramount Productions, a producing wing of the theatre's non-profit organization, which presents live theatrical performances utilizing local and regoinal perfomers guided by professional theatre artists. The Live at the Paramount Concert Series, produced by the theatre in association with Abilene Public Radio, brings world-class performing artists to the theatre's intimate atmosphere. The Paramount is also the producing organization for the 24fps Internaitonal Short Film Festival, a unique public exhibition competition of short films from all aver the world.
Additionally, the theatre is rented by community arts organizations, performing groups, schools, and businesses for a myraid of events. The Children's Performing Arts Series, produced by the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, brings professional children's theatre to Abilene. The Paramount is also the performance home for the Abilene Ballet Theatre, the Abilene Opera Association, the Celebration Singers, Chameleon Performing Arts Company, the Abilene Performing Arts Company, and the Abilene Community Band,. Other organizations use the facility on a regular basis, including Abilene High School, Cooper High School, Wylie High School, Abilene Chirstian Univeristy, Hardin Simmons University, the Tri-College Opera, McMurry University, Hendrick Health System, and the Disability Resources Association.
The Paramount is a tourist highlight year round. The theatre is open every weekday afternoon from 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and self-guided tours are welcomed. The building is occupied over 200 days a year, seeing an estimated 50,000 people pass through its doors.