Paramount Theatre, and this time I stopped before I packed up and left to find this awesome door and take a picture of it. It’s literally where a hole was cut high into the side of the gilded, lavishly baroque auditorium (specifically an alcove above the audience-left mezzanine) to link it to the austere new addition with all of its modern dressing rooms and bathrooms and showers and elevators and laundry facilities and its comfortably appointed green room with refrigerators and a wide third-floor window offering a southern view of downtown Cedar Rapids. I love how you can stand where I took this picture right next to a sleek stainless steel elevator surrounded by the clean walls and neutral carpet tiles of the modern addition and peer through this door and see the brilliant reds and golds of the rococo carpeting that hint at the breathtaking, venerable grandeur waiting just around the corner.
I grew up in awe of — and in love with — the Paramount Theatre, and I’m so thrilled and honored and humbled not only to get to perform on its century-old stage and enjoy the distinct privilege of looking out into the vast sea of lustrous golds and merlot velvets of its auditorium on a happily regular basis, but also to see first-hand the backstage additions and upgrades and enrichments to the expanded facility that will take it — as I see through the metaphor of this door — beautifully into its next century.
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