2020 Region 5 Convention and Competition

April 23-26, Paramount Theatre
Cedar Rapids, IA





Paramount Theatre


The Paramount Theatre, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of just 300 movie palaces left in the United States according to a story in USA Today. Built in the architecturally extravagant 1920's, the theatre annually hosts concerts, fundraisers, corporate meetings, dance recitals and a Broadway Series. The Theatre is home to Orchestra Iowa, the region’s premier symphony orchestra.



Cedar Rapids is extremely fortunate to have the Paramount Theatre as a performing arts center. In November 1926, a conference was held discussing plans to build the theatre. By April 1927, work was well underway on the foundation of the building, and by September 1, 1928, the theatre opened as the Capitol Theatre. For one year the Capitol provided a live stage show with a full range of comedians, singers, dancers, acrobats, along with an audience sing-along, the Wurlitzer organ and a film. When the theatre was built, they wanted to make it like a palace, with everything being high class.

In June 2008, the Paramount Theatre was severely damaged by the worst flood in Cedar Rapids history. At the crest of the flood, the building was inundated by approximately eight feet of water on the main level. The basement and sub-basement were completely flooded causing over $16 million in damage to the historic theatre.



The Paramount Theatre reopened in November of 2012. While retaining its historical appearance, the marquee on Third Avenue has been updated to an electronic display. Entering through the Hall of Mirrors, patrons experience the historic Theatre as they remember it with all its’ opulence. Extensive efforts were undertaken to ensure the restoration was executed in a historically sensitive manner. An analysis of the color and composition of historic paint and plaster finishes determined the original color scheme as well as the painting and plaster techniques. A small piece of the original carpet was discovered. This remnant was used to inspire the design of the new carpet in the color and pattern of the original. Every surface of the main Theatre has been restored to its original grandeur.


Paramount Theatre

123 3rd Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

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