Featured, Local News

Paramount Theatre reopens; Broken roof truss identified as cause of leak

By Katy Savage

RUTLAND—After canceling a sold-out show and shutting down for two weeks due to a broken roof truss, the Paramount Theatre reopened June 1.

The Vermont Fire and Safety issued a certificate of occupancy June 1, declaring the building safe for patrons. The theater closed after a routine inspection in May found one of five roof trusses was damaged after a large snow load broke the truss.

Paramount Theatre board chair Matt Levandowski said Paramount paid about $28,000 to re-shore the roof for a temporary fix. Levandowski estimates it will cost an additional $200,000 to completely re-engineer the roof and fix the broken truss.

“We’re hopeful that insurance will pay for the bulk of it,” Levandowski said.

The Paramount canceled its sold-out Oak Ridge Boys concert scheduled for Saturday, May 19, as well as the broadcast of “Cosi Fan Tutte” from The Metropolitan Opera scheduled Sunday, May 20.

The theater has an 838-seat capacity. Canceling the Oak Ridge Boys concert cost about $70,000 to refund ticket holders and pay for the event.

“That’s a tough nut to swallow,” Levandowski said. “We were having one of our best seasons ever up unit that point.”

Levandowski said the programming was canceled out of caution.

“It wasn’t panic, but we didn’t want to have a full house with what we knew was a broken roof truss,” he said.

He expects the roof to be repaired by Sept. 1.

Miss Jackie’s Studio of Dance, which originally moved its June recital from the Paramount to Mount St. Joseph Academy due to the roof concerns was able to hold “I Got the Music in Me,” at the Paramount on June 2 after the concerns were cleared.

While summer events are typically light at the theater, the Paramount has a couple of events in June. The next event is  The Vermont Center for Dance Education’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” on June 10 followed by the Rutland Youth Theater’s production of “Honk” scheduled June 15 and 16.

The 1913 Paramount Theater building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Levandowski said the theater’s five full-time and three part-time staff members and all 13 board members have been active in re-opening the theater, including board member Edward Clark, an architect.

“He’s been working daily,” Levandowski said.

Clark said the Paramount is putting the construction work out to bid.

“It’s been a very involved process,” said Clark.

Levandowski said this was one of the Paramount’s best seasons.

“We’re very fortunate we have a dedicated staff that are really passionate about the season,” he said. This is a bump in the road,” he continued, implying economic concerns of the Paramount being closed. “Every restaurant and bar does better when the theater has a show.”

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