Peekskill Businesses ‘Take Over’ the Paramount Theater as City Searches for New Management
To keep the concert hall running, local entrepreneurs are staging a ‘takeover’ concert series showcasing local talent.
Photo by Dave Zucker
Following the announcement that Peekskill would be temporarily shuttering its city-owned Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, a group of local business owners have joined together to stage a “takeover” concert series until a more permanent solution is reached.
The city announced the theater’s closure for renovations last month, while soliciting requests for proposals to take over management of the space. Red House Entertainment, which has run the theater since 2013, is relocating and shifting its focuses out of state, opening the door for a new company to take the reins on one of the lower Hudson Valley’s most iconic venues.
“It’s time to attract key partners to help continue the growth and success of the theater,” says Red House CEO Kurt Heitmann. “The last five years have been amazing as we watched the Paramount grow in both the quality of acts and audience attendance,” he adds. “It’s a beautiful theater vital to Peekskill and the Hudson Valley.”
While Heitmann hands management duties off to local non-profit Paramount Hudson Valley Arts to ensure a “seamless transition,” and Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey calls keeping the theater operating a “top priority,” several local businesses became worried about potential declines in business without permanent stewardship of the theater bringing in consistent acts.
Peekskill Brewery founder Keith Berardi changes out the Paramount's iconic marque.
Louie Lanza of the Hudson Valley Hospitality Group and Keith Berardi of Peekskill Brewery — along with local names like Speakeasy Tattoo, Division Street Guitar, Enormous Creative, Brian Fasse of Vivid RGB Lighting, and Factoria complex partner John Sharp — have pieced together a working solution for the interim.
Billed as a “Peekskill Brewery takeover,” a new concert series will kick off on Friday, April 19 and feature up-and-coming, young, regional bands, beginning with headliners The Big Takeover, a seven-piece Jamaican R&B/reggae/ska band, supported by The Brighton Beat. Additional performance dates include Flux Capacitor with Shwizz on April 26, Box of Rain with Ronald Raggae on April 27, Hayley Jane and the Primates with Joanna Teters on May 3, and the Funky Dawgz Brass Band on May 4. Shows start at 8 p.m. and the lobby bar opens at 6 p.m.
Oh yes, the theater isn’t the only thing being taken over. The lobby bar will now effectively be a PKB pop-up, serving not just the brewery’s popular beers for the very first time, but also new food offerings from nearby restaurants.
“We want to see the theater become more representative of our local community,” says Lanza. “We want it to showcase programming that works for all ages and demographics, and have a certain amount of a local focus. Similarly, we want to see the theater’s concessions upgraded, and offering more and better food and drink from local establishments.” He adds, “There are a lot of local businesses banding together to get the Paramount back on its feet.”
Tickets are on sale at the Peekskill Brewery website for $15 and will be $20 at the door.