Peekskill restaurateur takes leading role to save Paramount Theater

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PEEKSKILL -

A Peekskill restaurateur and philanthropist is taking a leading role in the efforts to preserve the Paramount Theater in Peekskill.

Since the 1930s, the Paramount Theater on Brown Street has entertained performing arts enthusiasts.

Entertainment in the 1,100-seat downtown staple may be in the final act.

Louie Lanza owns several restaurants in downtown Peekskill. He stepped in to help when he learned the theater's previous operator, Red House Entertainment, was financially unable keep it running.

His family's philanthropy organization, The Lanza Family Foundation, is financing around 30 booked shows from April through October.

Neighboring business Peekskill Brewery is teaming up with Lanza to host several concerts. The series is called "The Paramount Theater Takeover."

“What we hope is we bring not only the regulars of the Paramount that have attended shows there over the last 10 years, but also a new crowd to the Paramount,” says Keith Berardi, co-founder of the Peekskill Brewery.

The city of Peekskill owns the theater and is currently searching for a new operator. Until that happens, the Lanza Foundation funds will run dry and the future of the Paramount remains uncertain.

The city's proposals for a new operator are due in April.

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