It's been five years since the Paramount re-opened. I love our neighbor to the north. It's one of the true gems of Iowa. Some memories past and present:

  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd make love to his guitar while his Shreveport.Sweetie looked on jealously from the side of the stage. That battle axe was on fire.
  • Gavin Rossdale and his band Bush blowing the doors off the joint a couple of weeks ago. Incredible show. Sounded like it was coming off of a CD.
  • Follies. A Cedar Rapids tradition. My old co-worker Dennis Green runs a tight MC ship.
  • Front row for Alison Krauss. That woman has pipes.
  • Bill Maher's stand-up. He needed notes like Michael Stipe does for "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" at R.E.M. shows. Lots of content to get to in a short period of time.
  • Witnessed a couple of shows in the past couple if weeks that made me a proud papa: Metro Orchestra and Rogers and Hammerstein's Classics.

I remember touring the newly reopened Paramount, post-flood in 2010. It was a "who's who" of Cedar Rapids leaders mixed with regular citizens. We were all jammed in the lobby that day happy as clams to have our historic theater "recovered and ready" again.

My friend Tim had a guided tour and saw the place before a show. He was really looking forward to the entertainment, but was astonished at the architecture. He admitted after the show that the building was his favorite part of the visit.

Savor that place the next time you walk through it's hallowed halls. Not every town this size has such a masterpiece.