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Paramount Theatre Could Get New Sign

Updated: Monday, June 2 2014, 10:34 PM CDT

Congress Avenue could go back in time and get a little brighter with help from tourists. The Paramount Theatre is trying to pay for a replica sign to go above its marquee. The total cost is estimated at $200,000.

Austin Theatre Alliance CEO Jim Ritts says it would look similar to the State Theatre sign next door that was recently restored.

"The Paramount sign went up originally in 1930. Sometime around 1963-1964 it was taken down," Ritts believes the sign was removed for financial reasons.

Now the Alliance wants to rebuild it.

To do so Ritts says they took a look back in history digging through old news clips and photos.

A home video taken by San Antonio resident Wade R. Bedell revealed the sign was a shade of green.

The next step is to find funding.

Ritts says they applied for a $47,000 City of Austin Heritage Grant to pay for 25 percent of the total cost.

Thursday the Grants Committee recommended that the Paramount get a certification of appropriateness for their sign. The Historic Landmark Commission will vote on the measure in late April for final approval.

City of Austin historic preservation officer Steve Sadowsky says that money comes from the 9 percent hotel occupancy tax.

"The grants are designed to help non-profits business restore and rehabilitate their historic buildings," said Sadowsky.

If the grant is approved by the commission the Paramount plans to move forward.

They hope to reveal the new sign to the public on the 100th anniversary of the theatre in October of 2015.

The Austin Theatre Alliance also applied for a $47,000 grant to pay for the restoration of the State Theatre marquee.

By Christie Post

Paramount Theatre Could Get New Sign

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