Paramount to start showing first-run movies Friday

After a 35-year hiatus, Middletown’s Paramount Theatre will be showing first-run movies again, starting with the comedy “Quartet.”

“Quartet” will be shown three days this weekend, and more first-run movies will follow shortly, said Maria Bruni, Middletown’s Director of Community Development. The last time there were first-run movies there was the late 1970s.

“The Paramount Theatre has come full circle,” said Mayor Joe DeStefano.

The return of first-run movies is the latest in a series of developments for the 83-year-old theater, which has been expanding the number and variety of shows there over the past few years. It recently upgraded to digital projection and surround sound with a $150,000 grant from Orange County, and it will be the home this year of the Hoboken International Film Festival.

“This is an expansion of the quality presentations we have already had at the Paramount,” said Bruni. “Our classic movie series has been well received, our live shows are popular — the next step is first-run films.”

“Quartet” was filmed in England, and is Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut. It centers on a home for retired opera singers where they hold a concert every year to raise money for the home, according to the BBC Films summary. However, when Jean Horton — a former opera star and the ex-wife of one of the other residents — moves there unexpectedly, old grudges flare up and the planned concert starts to unravel. Horton is played by Maggie Smith, an English actress perhaps best known here for playing Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies.

The theater is owned by the city and, since 2010, has been run by Majestic Star Entertainment.

What: “Quartet”
When: Friday, March 8: 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 9: 2:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sunday, March 10: 2:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m.
Where: Paramount Theatre, 19 South St., Middletown.
More: Visit for other show times and movies.

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