Paramount exhibit runs through Feb. 3 at McDonough

The Paramount Theater in downtown Youngstown was originally titled The Liberty Theater and opened in 1918 as a 1700-seat theater, featuring silent movies and American vaudeville stars.

Rendering by Strollo Architects of the restored terracotta façade of the Paramount Theater in downtown Youngstown.

Visit the Liberty-Paramount Theater as it was in its heyday with photos, memorabilia, moving pictures and storytelling at the Paramount Project Exhibition that runs through Feb. 3 at the McDonough Museum of Art on the campus of Youngstown State University.

Designed by the architect C. Howard Crane and originally titled The Liberty Theater, the facility in downtown Youngstown opened in 1918 as a 1700-seat theater, featuring silent movies and America’s finest vaudeville stars. Despite modernization efforts, the renamed Paramount Theater was not able to survive the effects of deindustrialization and suburbanization and has lay dormant and in decay since 1976.

The Paramount Project Exhibition is part of The Paramount Project, a current effort aimed at restoration of the terracotta façade of the building. The remainder of the building is no longer viable for restoration and will be demolished to make way for an open gathering space. The McDonough exhibit includes a simulation of the vision for the gathering space.

In addition, the exhibit features the Paramount Oral History Project, videos of individuals’ memories of the theater. It also features the YSU Students Motivated by the Arts’ K-16 educational gallery. The SMARTS Stars of the Paramount Parade Tour was created by Becky Keck, Leslie Cusano, Heather Seno, Joyce Mistovich and features original work by renowned pop artist Chris Yambar.

The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. Call 330-941-1400 or visit

The Paramount Project Committee hosts a benefit event 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at the museum to celebrate initiation of Phase 1 of the project. The benefit event is free and open to the public.