Red House Entertainment LLC (“RHE”) was formed by Kurt Heitmann for the single purpose of reviving and operating the Paramount Theater in Peekskill, NY, as a vibrant downtown venue, to be supported by diverse and week-round programming, which unquestionably has the potential to be the “ultimate” venue in the Hudson Valley for Live Music and HD quality digital entertainment. It was selected by the Peekskill Common Council, as a result of an RFP issued in November 2012, in competition with known interest from at least 2 known NYC venue/performing arts operators and Tarrytown Music Hall and a consortium formed by an established local hospitality service businessman. It signed a lease commencing May 2013 for an initial term of just under18 years, with a renewal and purchase option, to be the exclusive operator and manager of the venue for commercial, nonprofit and community related uses and forms of entertainment and hospitality.
The Paramount Theatre was designed by George and Charles Rapp, architects for Netco Theatre Corporation, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures, in 1929 and was completed in 1930 as a 1500 seat movie “palace”. Until 1973 when it was sold to a private party, it was owned and operated by Paramount Pictures. The City of Peekskill acquired the structure through a tax lien in 1977.
The Paramount Theater has been designated a Westchester County Landmark and is on the New York state and National Registers of Historic Places. In 1977 the City leased the building to the not-for-profit Peekskill Area Arts Council, Inc, which in 1984 changed its name to the Paramount Center for the Arts, a 501(C)(3) corporation. Improvements were made to the stage, and seating count reduced, but real restoration occurred in 2002 aided by a $1 million grant from NY State in 2006 and significant donations by Entergy Corporation. Improvements included extensive restoration of the walls and ceilings with original detail recreated on a canvas wallcoverings, the addition of an annex with dressing rooms and backstage dock, the incorporation of a full fly system and a full array of lighting and sound, renovation of seating and restrooms.