With the doors closing to The Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill, comes shock, disappointment and concern for this massive local void and how it affects the cultural and economic life of Peekskill. I received an email inbox message without warning from the theatre about this; it felt like a the hit of a meteor upon this film/entertainment palace, leaving a big black hole in the center of downtown. There was quiet talk about this sad event the day before at a Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce meeting which I had attended, but is was vague, full of guesses, and questions. (The chamber is presently involved in trying to figure out a plan with the theatre to get its doors reopened, which is a good thing). Upon opening this email, as a contributing member of the Paramount, a Peekskill citizen, and the holder of tickets for a show that was scheduled for this Sunday as well as tickets for future dates, I would have liked more information - the details of the situation - straight from the theater. But all the mail said was this:
“Friday, October 5, 2012
Dear Paramount Center for the Arts Patron,
We regret to inform you that due to a recent suspension of operations at the Paramount Center for the Arts, TOWER OF POWER/AVERAGE WHITE BAND event scheduled for Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 7pm has been CANCELLED. Please hold your ticket order and bear with us as we strive to reopen our doors as soon as possible. We will provide ticket holders with additional information as it becomes available. The Paramount appreciates your understanding during this difficult period.
The decision to suspend operations was made the Board of Directors at a Board Executive Committee Meeting held Tuesday night. The Paramount apologizes for the inconvenience we have caused to our members, all those who purchased tickets for shows that will have to be cancelled or delayed and to the friends of the Paramount who have been supportive of our efforts to provide a diverse menu of high quality performances and visual arts exhibits over the years.
We ask for all of our patrons and supporters to bear with us as we dedicate our efforts towards reemerging as one of the premier performance venues in the Hudson Valley in the not too distant future. Updated information will be provided on the Paramount website at www.paramountcenter.org as it becomes available.
Thank You for Your Understanding,
Paramount Center for the Arts Staff”
The problem with lack of information/truth/detail is that rumors take over. I have since heard stories and read articles about why this precious and historic institution has closed its doors, but rather than add to the spreading of rumors, I won’t repeat what was indicated. The truth may not be pretty, but as Peekskill citizens, and for some of us, members and ticket holders, we deserve to know exactly what happened and why we weren’t informed sooner as this closing became imminent.
I can’t imagine anyone who wants to see the Paramount fail. I believe people want this theater to open its curtains again and shine its spotlight once more. But without the details of the who, what where, when, why and how of this unfortunate circumstance, people will use guesses, opinion, politics, personal agendas, etc. to fill in the blanks as to what really happened. Those who simply want the truth, without hesitation on the part of the Paramount, deserve it now.