The Paramount Theatre plans to announce, at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, a lineup of standup comedians who will be performing there starting in late October.
Immediately after the press conference, theater operator Ken Del Vecchio and comedy booker Harlan Halper will be hosting a contest for aspiring comedians. The winner will get to open for one of the better-known comedians who’ll be performing there, and will also get a role in Del Vecchio’s next movie, “Rock Story,” which is going to be shot in Middletown and elsewhere in Orange County in January.
The plan is to make standup comedy by some fairly well-known names a regular feature at the theater, in addition to the first-run movies that they started earlier this year and that have been playing daily since July.
The full press release is below:
PARAMOUNT THEATER ANNOUNCES SUPERSTAR STAND-UP COMEDIAN LINE-UP & FREE WEEK-LONG HOLIDAY MOVIES
Budding Comedians Get Chance to be Opening Act at
Paramount Show & Cast in Film – Contest Happening October 1
Press conference October 1 at 1:30pm
(Middletown, NY) Middletown’s historic Paramount Theater launched the showing of studio and first-run movies seven days a week earlier this summer, something it hadn’t done in over 20 years. At a press conference and event at 1:30pm on October 1, Paramount Chairman Kenneth Del Vecchio and Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano will be announcing a slate of fan-favorite, star stand-up comedians, who will be performing live shows at the theater one Saturday night a month. The shows kick off on October 26, headlined by Larry Miller (The Nutty Professor; Pretty Woman), and will continue all the way up to the Paramount’s now yearly signature blow out event, Hoboken International Film Festival (“HIFF”), which runs May 30 – June 5 in 2014.
“I think Middletown, Orange County, and all of the Hudson Valley will be very excited about the comedians who will be performing at the Paramount. These are some of the biggest names in the business and great people,” said Del Vecchio, who is also the chairman of HIFF and a critically acclaimed filmmaker who is shooting his next movie in Orange County in January. “I’m very excited to have put this together with Harlan Halper, who is one of the leading promoters in the industry. He always puts on a great show.”
Directly after the press conference, Del Vecchio and Halper will be presiding over a contest, where a mass group of unknown comedians will be given a career break-out opportunity on two fronts: the winner will serve as the opening act for one of the star stand-ups performing at the Paramount – and will be cast in a comedic speaking part in Del Vecchio’s January movie, Rock Story. The movie, a feel good rock n’ roll drama/mystery starring multiple Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees has moments of levity and will feature a number of famed comedians. Rock Story will be HIFF’s Opening Night Feature Film on May 30.
“But there’s more,” says Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano. “One week a month during the holiday season, the Paramount will allow the public to watch movies for free. For the entire week. We want the Paramount to provide to our community, and let them enjoy some great movies – at no cost – during the holidays. Moviegoers can take in the majestic architecture of our theater while relaxing with a quality film, and while in Middletown they can see and visit all the outstanding businesses, programs, and people that our city has to offer.”
The week beginning on October 25 and ending on Halloween will be the Paramount’s “Horror Week”, where the theater will be showcasing some of Hollywood’s most frightening and thrilling movies – for free. Highlights include the screening of the original Halloween on Halloween itself. On Friday, October 25, audiences will be treated to the terrifying experience of watching a horror film that was shot in the theater they’re sitting in: Captured Hearts, starring Academy Award nominees Robert Loggia and Charles Durning, was shot at the Paramount this past January. And on Sunday October 27, get ready to be scared out of your wits by the silent classic, Phantom of the Opera…With live organ playing at the head of many of the flicks.
The weeks of November 22 – 26 and December 6 – 12 will be the other free movie weeks. The free movies that week – and the names of the superstar stand-up comedians – will be announced at the press conference and event on October 1, which will be held at 1:30pm at the Paramount, located at 17 South Street, Middletown, New York.
“I’m truly amazed at what Judge Del Vecchio has been able to bring to the people of Orange County through his film festival and movies,” said Al Carpenter, an executive from ShopRite. “The economic lift that the festival and all that the Paramount is doing is just huge for Middletown and the surrounding towns. People are coming from everywhere to these events. I give a lot of credit to that city for having the foresight. ShopRite is a proud sponsor of Hoboken International Film Festival, and we look forward to working with the Paramount on shows that will benefit our veterans, through ShopRite’s Veterans Charity.” Carpenter will be on-hand to discuss one of those shows at the press conference.