LIVE NATION'S PARAMOUNT OPENS FOR BIZ IN BROOKLYN

Live Nation cut the ribbon on its new Brooklyn Paramount 3/28 with a performance by reggae scions Stephen and Damian Marley, capping a multiyear renovation of a space that was a haven of jazz and rock 'n' roll earlier in the century.

The Paramount, which can fit 2,700 fans in a general-admission setup and 1,300 seated, has been dormant as a performance venue since the early 1960s and was improbably used then for many years as a basketball gym by its owner, Long Island University. Former Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov announced plans to renovate it in 2015, but that arrangement fell apart, allowing Live Nation to acquire a 25-year operating license during the pandemic and complete the restoration.

In a nod to its jazz roots, the Paramount features a VIP room named after Ella Fitzgerald and cocktails by mixologist Sean Kenyon referencing the names of her songs and albums. Ella's even has a shelf of vintage spirits from the 1940s, '50s and '60s, if you're in the mood for a real taste of history. Fans can congregate in the chandelier-forward basement Avena Lounge, which showcases the venue's original ornate architectural details.

With oversight from Live Nation Northeast SVP of Booking Stacie George, the Paramount boasts next-level artist amenities, including five dressing rooms with en-suite bathrooms and showers, a dedicated crew catering room, a workout room with two Pelotons, a game room with old-school pinball and Pac-Man and on-site parking for trucks, which will spare touring crews from having to endure the dreaded equipment cross-load somewhere in New Jersey for the journey into Manhattan.

The Paramount's location across the street from iconic downtown-Brooklyn eatery Junior's doesn't hurt either, and we envision a steady stream of bands and fans alike stopping by for cheesecake and matzo ball soup before or after gigs.

In its rough-and-tumble battle for local market share with AEG Presents and Bowery Presents, Live Nation is thrilled to add a venue of this size to its portfolio, which already includes Irving Plaza, Warsaw, The Rooftop at Pier 17 and the Gramercy Theatre.

"For years, we've had Irving and Warsaw, which are 1,100-capacity, but we skipped all the way to Pier 17, which is 3,500. We needed something in the middle to help us work with artists on their way up," George told us. "Pier 17 is seasonal, and it has a curfew of 10 p.m. Artists love it, but we can just do more here by being able to go until 4 a.m. and activate multiple spaces."

Added U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, "Decades ago, the Brooklyn Paramount Theater broke down barriers, giving black artists a platform from the earliest days of jazz and rock and roll on stage in front of desegregated audiences. Thanks to the vision of Live Nation in partnership with Long Island University, the Brooklyn Paramount will once again serve as a cultural hub to showcase some of the most gifted artists today and bring people from diverse backgrounds together in fellowship."

Amid the Paramount's stacked initial calendar are upcoming shows from viral star Benson Boone (4/10), Mariah the Scientist (4/12), The Decemberists (5/3), Norah Jones (5/16-17), the Black Pumas (7/30), St. Vincent (9/10-11) and Sting (10-7, 9-10). See you in the pit.

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