New roof, sprinkler system for Paramount Theatre in Austin

Construction will close the theater for three months.

Posted: Aug 26, 2020 4:53 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. – An $875,000 project will replace the 33-year-old roof of the Historic Paramount Theatre and install a new sprinkler system.

Austin Area Arts announced Wednesday that construction is scheduled for September through November and the 91-year-old theater will be closed while it is going on. The project is being undertaken in partnership with the Hormel Foundation.

In its announcement, Austin Area Arts stated:

“This roof and sprinkler project is an important first phase in addressing all the needs at the Paramount. Austin Area Arts is pursuing a larger construction project for the Paramount that includes an expanded lobby and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Access) improvements to provide equal access to the theatre seats, balcony, stage, dressing rooms and restrooms.”

“The Historic Paramount Theatre has never had a fire suppression sprinkler system and it will help preserve the historic building which has been restored to its 1929 appearance as well as neighboring structures in downtown Austin.”

Architectural firm Miller Dunwiddie of Minneapolis has been hired to design a sprinkler system that will maintain the integrity of the historic building including the iconic rounded sky-like ceiling. The firm has had past successful projects at historic buildings including the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Minnesota State Capitol and James J. Hill House. Contracts for the project were competitively bid and awarded to AllWeather Roofing and The Joseph Company.

Austin Area Arts says the 622-seat Paramount Theatre hosted 40 live performances in 2019 including music, children's theatre and dance and 43 movies.

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