BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The Paramount Theater in downtown Burlington will close its doors for about a year to make some major changes. The historic theater was built in 1928 then renovated in 1998 and in 2024. Now, a $7 million expansion is coming.
The area by the main lobby and the stage will stay pretty much the same with just a few small updates like the carpet. But over in the annex portion with the concession stand and bathrooms, all of it will be taken down so they can not only build out from the wall but also up to the brand-new rooftop deck.
“That is going to be a game changer for us,” said Morgan Lasater, from the city of Burlington.
The rooftop is for people to relax, and the expansion out to the sidewalk will be a brand-new addition to the landscape of downtown Burlington.
“We want to capitalize on the momentum we are seeing in our corridors here in downtown,” Lasater said.
The city recently added a social district, has new businesses moving in and planned a streetscapes project to happen at the same time as the Paramount expansion.
“It is what we always envisioned when we came downtown. We could see the trajectory of what was happening down here, and it was easy for us to decide to invest in downtown,” said Ted Gross, the owner of The Mini Dingo.
Gross’ business is right across the street from the Paramount Theater, and they often see customers stopping by before or after a show.
He’s hopeful for new businesses after the expansion.
The building isn’t the only change coming. For the first time in 30 years, a new director will be taking over the theater.
“I will be learning a lot about Burlington and the area and who that audience might be,” said Eric Kerchner, the new director.
He will be working closely with the city while the theater closes down for about a year during the construction.
“We will be able to properly plan and execute,” Kerchner said.
They will be taking a closer look at their operations and programming.
“Finding that specific target that fits in our space, that draws our community in and really looking for those acts that might be unique where folks do want to drive in maybe even regionally,” Lasater said.
There is still time to catch shows before they shut down next fall.
They expect to open the brand-new expansion by the end of 2025.
The city council already approved the $7 million for the expansion. Now, the city is working on getting about $3 million additional to make other updates in the current space.