Paramount Bristol commemorates 93rd anniversary with documentaries

Published 11:53 am Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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On the Paramount’s 93rd anniversary, the historic venue announces that, for the first time ever, the full scope of Paramount Bristol’s legacy will be explored. “Tonight is the Nite: The Paramount Bristol Story” will premiere on April 13 and will explore Paramount’s history – from the earliest days of State Street through its heyday as a movie palace, its brush with oblivion, the community effort behind its salvation, all the way through its status today as Bristol’s premier arts and entertainment destination. Nearly four years in the making, this full-length documentary features interviews with legendary performers like Marty Stuart and Bill Engvall, along with the voices and stories of dozens of community members who all share a Paramount connection. This film is a production of the City of Bristol, Tennessee’s Department of Community Relations in collaboration with Paramount Bristol. On Friday, March 8, the historic venue will partner with WCYB-TV to honor a local legend. Johnny Wood was a staple of morning news in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia during his time on-air at WCYB. He remains a cornerstone of broadcast history to his loyal viewers. We woke up with Johnny EVERY morning. He told us what to be prepared for in his own unique way, canceled school for us, shared fishing tips, and broke the news of our favorite teams getting those much-needed wins. His presence was charming, reliable, funny, and reinforced our trust in local news. For more than 40 years, he was a welcome comfort in our homes. He became family. The documentary, “Good Morning, I’m Johnny Wood” will give people an exclusive glimpse into the life and career of this regional icon. During the special premiere at Paramount Bristol, patrons will see Johnny Wood flip the script as he welcomes us into his home to give us the story we’ve all been waiting for. Tickets to both events are available on Paramount Bristol’s website at
For more than nine decades the Paramount has been entertaining the region as a cultural anchor of the twin cities of Bristol, TN/VA. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, it all started on February 20, 1931. Opening night was a tremendous success as the enormous crowd blocked traffic for five blocks for an 8 p.m. showing of “It Pays to Advertise,” a romantic comedy starring Carole Lombard and Norman Foster.
Today, the theater serves as a multi-use performing arts center presenting live music, dance, comedy, film, theater, and family entertainment. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Paramount strives to protect and preserve the Art Deco character from the 1930s, while providing state-of-the-art technology for patrons and performers.

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