FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACTS:
October 23, 2012 Mayor Mary Foster: 914-720-4644
Councilwoman Kathie Talbot: 914-737-9099
PEEKSKILL TO ISSUE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR A NEW ORGANIZATION TO OPERATE THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE, A HISTORICALLY RESTORED 1,100 SEAT PERFORMANCE VENUE IN HEART OF CITY’S DOWNTOWN
Proposals from Theater Managers, Concert and Music Hall Operators and Other Performance Managers and Promoters to be Considered
City Will Require a Viable Business Plan and Understanding of the Unique Opportunities the Historic Venue Offers
Officials announced today that the City of Peekskill would be issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) by November 1, seeking a theater operator and performance promoter to manage the historic Paramount Theatre and attract a wide audience with diverse and popular programming. In addition to being able to manage and offer a greater number of programming options, the City will also be looking for an operator that can effectively interface with the city’s existing business community. Since the Paramount Center for the Arts recent announcement that it would be suspending operations, Peekskill officials have received numerous inquiries from theater operators and concert promoters throughout the region to re-open the Paramount.
“The City is being very aggressive in protecting this vital community asset while we seek out a viable proposal to turn this theater into the economic juggernaut it really should be,” said Mayor Mary Foster. “In the coming days we will issue an RFP to ensure a future operator/promoter has a sustainable business plan that will ensure the true economic potential of this theater. We will consider both not-for-profit organizations and corporate entities.”
Meanwhile, the City has physically secured the theater and technical equipment to ensure proper maintenance and safety until a new operator /manager is engaged.
“Now is the time to explore all options, both private and non-profit,” said Common Council member Kathie Talbot. “While we are all sad and very disappointed with the failure of the current operation, we now have a golden opportunity to find a new operator with a business plan that will not only keep the lights on, but expand and enhance its programming. I believe we can still realize the full economic potential of this amazing and beautiful Peekskill gem.”
While the City is moving immediately to get the theater operational again, officials are still waiting for a response from the existing board of directors of the Paramount Center for the Arts as to their plan to satisfy their existing financial obligations. On October 5th, the City sent a written request to the board of directors to submit a written reorganization plan by October 19th. As a registered not-for-profit agency in New York State, the board of directors of the Paramount Center for the Arts is required to provide a final financial audit to the state. The City of Peekskill is not responsible for any financial obligations incurred by the current operator, the Paramount Center for the Arts, and all inquiries related to its obligations should be directed to their board and its president.
The Paramount Theatre is an historic, 1,100 seat theater, which originally opened in 1930 as a Paramount Pictures movie house. Paramount Pictures sold the building in 1973 and eventually the building was acquired by the City of Peekskill in 1977 due to a tax default. The theater recently under went a major restoration that brought the building back to its original glory. A series of acclaimed and well known artists have performed at the venue, including Bernadette Peters, George Carlin, Boyz II Men, Joan Baez, and Wynton Marsalis.