Top Stories 2012: Curtain closes on Paramount Theatre

The fate of the Paramount Theatre in downtown Chilliwack was sealed this year.

The fate of the old Paramount was sealed this year.

For years officials had been trying to figure out what to do with the old Theatre building on Yale Road that City of Chilliwack was gifted.

Without a plan they deemed viable coming forward, it now sits awaiting the wrecking ball, a move that sorely disappointed those who were trying in earnest to save the 60+ year old building.

The adjacent Ewert building came down earlier in December and the Paramount is next.

City officials put out the call out for serious proposals earlier this year. Two applicants came forward in the first RFP process in March, but were deemed non-compliant since they didn’t have the financial backing nor the insurance to undertake the extensive repairs and renovation of the building estimated to cost more than $350,000.

A Save the Chilliwack Paramount group formed quickly to try to save the building. They were given a 90-day reprieve, and proposed it be turned into a repertory theatre and run as a not-for-profit.

But the city had no appetite to spend money to save the building, and the group could not raise enough to be considered compliant with the RFP process, again because a lack of financial backing.

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