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Peekskill's Paramount Reopens With High Hopes For The Future

Red House Entertainment CEO Kurt Heitmann discuss the newly reopened Paramount Center for the Arts on May 15, 2013.
Red House Entertainment CEO Kurt Heitmann discuss the newly reopened Paramount Center for the Arts on May 15, 2013. Video Credit: peekskilldailyvoice
Peekskill city officials and community leaders discuss the newly reopened Paramount Center for the Arts on May 15, 2013.
Peekskill city officials and community leaders discuss the newly reopened Paramount Center for the Arts on May 15, 2013. Video Credit: peekskilldailyvoice
Dozens of people attended Wednesday afternoon's Paramount reopening in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Dozens of people attended Wednesday afternoon's Paramount reopening in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Dozens of people attended Wednesday afternoon's Paramount reopening in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Dozens of people attended Wednesday afternoon's Paramount reopening in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Dozens of people attended Wednesday afternoon's Paramount reopening in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
The first acts announced for newly reopened venue. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- After being closed for almost seven months, Peekskill's Paramount Center for the Arts reopened Wednesday with high hopes.

The venue closed in early October when financial difficulties made it impossible to continue operations.

After interviewing three bidders in February, the Peekskill Common Council voted to enter into an agreement with Red House Entertainment last week, and Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster thanked all the volunteers and city employees who helped choose a new management group and make the winning proposal a reality.

"We took this issue very seriously," Foster said. "We know how hard volunteers worked for 30 years to bring art and entertainment and culture to the City of Peekskill under the banner of The Paramount Center For the Arts. And we know how important that is for the vitality of our downtown"

The Paramount Board that had overseen the venue for over a decade was dissolved after the October closing, leaving Peekskill officials to find a new management grout to run the city-owned theater.

The Paramount was about $300,000 in debt when it closed its doors, including $107,000 worth of electrical bills owed to the city.

Red House Entertainment CEO Kurt Heitmann told the dozens on hand that after being the handed the keys to The Paramount Hudson Valley, as it will now be known, seven days ago there were already shows being announced. However he asked for patience from the community in the months ahead.

"In the next six months we have a lot of work to do," Heitmann said. "We need to meet with the business owners and the chamber of commerce, we need to meet with individuals and we're going to open a forum up for questions and comments, we'll try to answer everybody"

Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Deb Milone said the reopening of the Paramount was a major boost for the local economy.

"We are delighted Red House Entertainment has reached an agreement with the City of Peekskill to reopen and operate the Paramount Theater," Milone said. "We commend both sides for being able to reach a speedy agreement and one that will benefit the city in the long run and businesses immediately upon the theater's reopening."

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