The Real Deal New York

Inside NYC’s toniest basketball court

The former Brooklyn Paramount Theatre opened in 1928

June 22, 2014 01:00PM

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Long Island University’s Brooklyn’s Arnold and Marie Schwartz Athletic Center

Long Island University’s Arnold and Marie Schwartz Athletic Center

WEEKENDEDITION When Long Island University purchased the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre shortly after it closed on August 21, 1962, a remarkable and unusual renovation occurred. Today, the theater, which once played host to Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, is perhaps the most sophisticated basketball court out there. 

Long Island University’s Arnold and Marie Schwartz Athletic Center features a sky blue and white latticed ceiling and arches decorated with artificial foliage. It opened on November 23, 1928, and became a well-known entertainment center, according to Untapped Cities.

The Brooklyn Paramount Theatre

The Brooklyn Paramount Theatre

But like many of NYC’s historic buildings, the theater suffered through the 1960s, eventually closing in 1962. After LIU bought the theatre, workmen converted it into a basketball court for LIU’s athletic teams. A second renovation of the court occurred in 1975.

The theater's pipe organ

The theater’s pipe organ

The athletic complex also hosts academic events, conferences and lectures. Unfortunately, most of the building’s exterior and interior is gone, yet it’s richly decorated ceilings stand as a testament to the building’s past. [Untapped Cities] Christopher Cameron

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