What Do You Want to See at the Paramount?

Tell us what you think should be presented on the Paramount Center for the Arts Stage or movie screen.

Yesterday, on the Paramount Center for the Arts Director Lisa Reiss sparked some public commentary on the theater’s offerings and role in the community.

Patch commenter Wes Pomoroy wrote that the he feels the Paramount has always offered, “lame acts.”

“It's always seemed that the theatre either couldn't afford any good acts, or was somehow hostile towards popular tastes in the name of "culture". There are hundreds of Tier 1 or Tier 2 performers (and old movies) out there, which could draw huge crowds (and revenue). And they wouldn't be mutually exclusive to more cultured programming.”

A Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch Facebook fan wrote that she would like to see the Irish group Celtic Thunder come to town.

Regardless of how you think the Center has performed in the past, what would you want to go see there? What is going to make you take out your wallet, pay the $20 or $30 for a ticket and know that you will leave happy? I know I would be thrilled if I saw the name Bonerama or Soul Rebels written on the marquis.

Tell us what you want to see in the comments and/or take our poll.


liz January 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Calling Paramount LAME is unfortunate-it is a Peekekill treasure! Granted they could beef-up its offerings but it is starting from a sound foundation. Personally would like to see a renewed/more vibrant film program (have seen some great indies there) while continuning with the "staples" (loved Joan Baez, Girls night out, Beachboys...etc.) and integration of new "hip" bands such as Foster the People. Here's hoping the new director can pull it off!
Jennifer Daddio January 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I love the Paramount and have seen some great shows there: Wynton Marsalis, The Indigo Girls, and some indie movies. I would love to see more current indie movies and acts like The Indigo Girls and Suzanne Vega. In addition to that, I would love it if more author events were booked, like the David Sedaris event a couple of years back. If they could do more readings/interview events (kind of like the 92nd Street Y in NYC), I think that would be of interest to many people too.
Anabasis Bob January 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I’d like to see: Josh Rouse Jakob Dylan Conor Oberst Nils Lofgren (greatest guitarist ever) Joe Jackson (not sure if he’s still performing; could be in self-exile in Berlin) Eric Burdon (not sure if he’s still performing; could be too old, fat and bald) and bring back Donovan, the psychedelic Scottish troll/minstrel! I’d also like to see more Shakespeare productions. You can’t go wrong with Shax. Also, more readings/interviews/author events like Jennifer said. The movies that have been offered are usually very good, so that should stay the same. I would NOT like to see the following people anywhere near the Paramount: Rufus Wainwright (overhyped, overrated, monotone-voiced clown; has a dog’s name) Beach Boys (dudes, give it up already; it's embarrassing)
Dev January 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Let me start by saying that my family and I have enjoyed many concerts and movies at the Paramount over the years. However, I would like to know what happened to the Bryan Adams concert that was scheduled for January 16, 2012. We purchased tickets about three months ago, then received a voice mail the week before the concert stating that it was cancelled. I wish it wasn't cancelled, but I understand that these things happen. Our problem is getting a refund - we paid cash at the box office for two tickets, but when we returned them, we were told that they would mail us a check. It's been two weeks and we haven't received our refund check. We've been assured that a check will be mailed out today, I will keep you updated. P.S. We would love to see bands like Hinder, Saving Abel, Kopek and Trapt play the Paramount!
Wes Pomeroy January 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Oh my. Be careful what kind of comments you leave. You never know when the most incindiary of your comments will be boldly quoted. I guess it's incumbent on me to actually make some constructive suggestions. In general, any artist who has tickets available through Ticketmaster or any other ticket network could be considered a potential target (provided their act is conducive to an assigned-seating environment). Similarly, any act booked in any venue in the tri-state area could also be considered. Specifically, here are a few suggestions: [Music] - Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, Ray LaMontagne, Three Dog Night, Ani DiFranco, Rodrigo y Gabriela, A-ha, Ben Harper, Duran Duran, Eric Clapton, BB King, Natalie Merchant, Norah Jones, etc. Really any group from the 60's - 90's thatis still touring and can bring a crowd. [Comedians] - David Sedaris, Russell Peters, Jeff Dunham, Louis Black, Louie CK, John Stewart, etc. [Misc] - Kids shows (like Yo Gabba Gabba), brand-name Magicians, travelling shows like Stomp or the Blue Man Group, "Inside the Actor Studio" or "Roast" style events with celebrities, Hundreds of still-popular movies
David Patrick Lawter January 27, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The paramount has come a long way in the past 20 years or so. There have been some great acts, great films and events. I say "Keep it coming!" But I would like to see more (not different) acts booked. It seems that there are some acts that play places like the Beacon, BB King's Blues Club (NYC), Tarrytown Music Hall and other Tri-State venues, that don't seem to make a stop at the Paramount. I think they should try to snag some of these acts. In addition, I would like to see some more contemporary or Rock 'n' Roll/Blues acts. Most of the acts tend to lean towards the Pop/Top 40 style. That's fine. Book those acts since there is an audience for that. But gives us more of some of the other stuff. I don't want to answer the poll posted above because it's not broad enough. I say "Keep it broad and book 'em all." And keep diversity in mind. We are a very diverse community.
JM January 27, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Ok, so in large part, my answer is "I really don't know." And there is a much bigger discussion, an important one, around that answer due to how our times have changed, in my view. I do agree with the "indie film" route -- and I think it would be great to have some films here that usually appear only in the city or at Jacob Burns. But I think the list of answers is too outdated. While I am into film -- the last film I saw ''in a theater'' was in 2010 at Jacob Burns for free and time before that -- in 2008 at the Paris for free. I own 2,000 films already and when I find a film that might interest me, I simply buy it at amazon to play forever, free from home for the same price I'd have to pay to view it once in a theater. Same too for music - or I simply watch a band / group on their own website for free. Point is -- we are talking about a tremendous cultural shift in how we engage and use entertainment venues. ''Sell me on why I should leave my home'' and come to the Paramount to pay for something....which is a far different question to ask and problem to solve than filling out a calendar.
Ded Yorick January 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Yes, the Paramount should check out the schedule at Tarrytown Music Hall and Ridgefield Playhouse. They have very good acts. There's no reason we can't poach a few. I'd like to see Kris Kristofferson and Ray Davies. Can the Paramount host a musical, like Jesus Christ Superstar? That could be cool. Also, they should get the live Buddy Holly show that was at Westchester Dinner Theater or whatever it's called a few years ago.
JM January 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Oh, btw, I don't mean my original response to be unique to Parmount Theater - same issues exist for retail (why rent space when a url is all I need?), networking, finding new friends and a job etc. Major shifts are underway in nearly everything we do and while we all noodle over solutions, I don't think anyone has "the right" answer just yet.
John Q. Public January 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I'd like to see the Paramount pay the going market rent to the City. That would force it to be run as a business. When's the last time they turned a profit? And how exactly do they contribute to the City's bottom line to merit such largesse from taxpayers?
Ded Yorick January 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Well said. I could never understand why someone would pay $75 for a football ticket, $20 for parking and $20 for a beer and hot dog to sit in the bleachers around a bunch of drunks when they could stay at home and watch the game on TV for the price of a shrimp platter and a bag of nachos. Obviously, the situation is not perfectly analagous since you couldn't watch a stage act at home but the principle is the same. There have been plenty of shows that I wanted to see but the price was too great. As much as I'd love to see Ray Davies in concert, I'm not paying $100 to do so. In many ways, live entertainment is now only available to the rich, which is a shame.
Warwick Deeping, Borzoi January 27, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Perhaps a panel of Borzoi authors might interest the cultured, literary crowd of Peekskill and surrounding areas. Dawg authors do not come cheap but they are well worth it, stimulating the mind, heart and other body parts. When you're with a dawg author, you're in the presence of greatness. So, remember, the dawg will have its day. And never lend your Borzoi to a friend. http://knopf.knopfdoubleday.com/
JM January 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Well, Ded Yorick -- holy moly, $75 for football tickets? I had no idea, but the Super Bowl is going to be streamed online free... and I do not have cable or tv, so I could watch it on 'puter, shoes off, snacks and beer by the fire! Priceless. Forward thinking on the part of NFL, in my view. Now, what might be the incentive for watching live entertainment from the Paramount online? The Paramout busts forward, sets future agenda for entertainment - people can either buy tickets and sit in the theater or watch streamed online too... Registered users watch free, for which the theater gets valuable consumer data and a growing list of email addresses. I mean, that is just one example. Would any of those users venture into Peekskill for another event, perhaps? Market them! Those who view online get a $10 coupon at Division St. Grill or Birdsall House. Partner. Bring people in! I think those who do take a chance, experiement and "risk" can create that "next wave" of entertainment -- whatever it is going to be. And keep in mind, the way things are going - those discounts, freebees, etc., are real and exactly what people are learning to expect.
Deb January 28, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The paramount is a great venue for so many talents and theatre related events. I would like to see the paramount show the Opera on screen that Lincoln center presents. I went to several opera's at a movie theatre in white plains. Each time I went the shows are sold out ! . This would be a terrific opportunity for Peekskill and The Paramont , there are people in the upper westchester area that would support this. Hopefull to see this happen !
Ashley Elam January 28, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Besides more famous and big named artists, I would like to see them show more films that were filmed or partial filmed in Peekskill and around Westchester. Could turn into a Cannes of sorts if enough people participate. There are a lot of films that are shot in Westchester. Not to mention there are a growing number of celebrities and T.V. personalities moving into the area. Now that we've been blessed to have people like the late George Carlin grace us with not one but two shows we need to take advantage and run with it.
Peter Goodson January 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I like the Paramount and that we have something like this locally. It is unfortunately evident every time I go to a show that people who don't live in Peekskill realize that more than residents. Shows can cost a lot of money so ticket prices drive what they can offer. It all comes down to what people are willing to pay. If Foster and co. didn't do such a bad job running the city and having massive crime in the press every day more people would want to come here. The city was really on a roll and the image was turning around and in just 4+ years Foster, Claxton and co. have destroyed it. I'm not afraid to come to town and will continue to attend shows. Good job Paramount.
Dev January 31, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Update: The refund check was received today, 1/31!!!
Scott Hunter January 30, 2013 at 02:05 AM
I would like to see paramount make the movie "The Bleachers" since the have alredy bought the rights from John Grisham for $ 600.000 America needs a reminiscent movie now.
Scott Petricig January 30, 2013 at 02:49 AM
I voted for "Up and coming bands", though I dislike the use of the word "hipster"! Still, some more performances/shows that would interest those in their 20s and 30s could bring a lot of customers in. I saw the "Whose line is it anyway" show there and enjoyed it.


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