Thursday, March 22, 2012


Can't blame a lack of sleep last night for a late blog this morning. I decided to take time off from the stress of Plainfield Ozonian civic affairs, and the last 4 day weekend of March Madness.

Tuesday night, one of the speakers recalled the 50 or so years of the Madison-Park blot on Palinfield's Business district, Among the many stores and Churches that were torn down to make way for a redevelopment project that had no plans or developer, was the Paramount Theater which in its day had national recognition as an outstanding example of the Art Deco Movie Palaces of the 20s.

I am sure that there are Plainfield Historians who have pictures or memorials of the Paramount or its predecessor, The Plainfield Theater which had its own stock company and was home for many future Hollywood Stars. Yes Plainfield was once a center of "high culture" Perhaps the Library can comply an exhibit.

In the 50s and 60s there was an arty quarterly hard cover magazine "American Heritage " published. Nothing in this digital age can ever equal it.

I recall seeing in one of those issues an article about the Art Deco Movie Theaters in which there was mention and a picture of the interior of Plainfield's Paramount. Although I have been unable to date to find that article, I did find in the October 1961 issue in illustrations for a story by Ben M. Hall titled " The Best Remaining Seats" which featured the Roxy Theater but included the rendering at the top of this blog.

What is noteworthy according to the author is that this is a unique example where the architect used Chinese motive instead of Moorish or Egyptian or Babylonian as decoration. Note the Fire Breathing Dragon on the asbestos curtain..

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