Anderson's Paramount Theatre seeks donations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In an effort to finish a project Bill Hardacre dedicated his life to, the Paramount Theatre Centre & Ballroom in Anderson is asking for donations to completely eliminate the debt the 85-year-old building still owes.

Gayle Burris, executive director of the theater, said $800,000 is still owed on the landmark building's mortgage. Officials are hoping to be able to raise that money to honor Hardacre, who died May 11 at the age of 82.

"We think this would be a great way for the community to thank Bill for everything he did for this theater," Burris told The Herald Bulletin. "Twenty-five years ago, this was going to be a parking lot and he stopped that."

When Hardacre learned the building was scheduled for demolition, he got a group of people together to buy the building from the county council and get it back up to code. Burris said the group raised $3.7 million to restore the theater to its former glory.

Hardacre's widow, Ann, said she and Bill grew up going to the Paramount, which was built in 1929.

"I danced there from the time I was about four," Ann said. "And Bill would go watch movies there when he was young."

Ann said her late husband did whatever he could to try and better the community, and saving the Paramount was one of the ways he gave back.

"He wanted to keep it as a meeting place for the community," she said. "Whenever we attended an event he would always say, 'It's a good thing this isn't a parking lot right now.'"

With all the original money that was raised going toward restoring the building, the amount owed to the bank has been much more difficult to pay off. Burris said the Paramount board members are making progress. The $800,000 deficit was $1.5 million five years ago. Still, plenty of help is needed.

"We have been able to knock the debt down thanks to a very tight budget," Burris said. "But we need to get it all gone — or at least a big chunk of it."

She said with as much debt as the Paramount has, it can be tough to book guests to come and perform. She said there are plenty of artists that enjoy playing in old theaters, but the board doesn't have thousands of dollars to pay for the acts.

"I don't think some people understand that you have to pay artists when they come play," Burris said. "And it's hard to pay people when you owe that much to the bank."

With a little more financial leeway, Burris said she hopes the Paramount can begin offering more programs for the community to enjoy. More programs would equal more profit, and Burris hopes that will lead to the Paramount being able to thrive in Anderson for many more years.

New generations of Anderson residents being able to enjoy the Paramount was Hardacre's goal when he decided to save it.

Ann said it would be tremendous if enough money was raised to pay off the remaining debt. She said she was amazed by the memorial contributions made after Hardacre's funeral.

"It would be such a wonderful tribute to him if they could pay the debt off," she said.

Hardacre was passionate about the Paramount right up until his death. Burris said he was at the May board meeting and came to every program the theater had despite his advancing age.

"He really walked the walk," she said. "If there was an event, odds are he would be there. He was always thanking the audience for coming, thanking the performers and anyone else who helped make the program possible."

Burris said one of Hardacre's traits that she appreciated the most was his constant optimism. She said he always tried to look on the bright side even when a situation involving the Paramount looked grim.

She is taking an optimistic view on finally paying off the debt as well. Although $800,000 seems like a lot, Burris believes the money can be raised.

"Nearly everyone who grew up in Anderson has some kind of memory in the Paramount," Burris said. "Whether it's prom or graduation or something. We're hoping people will donate to keep those memories alive."

She sees donations as a tip of the hat to the legacy Hardacre left behind as well.

"We want to show him how much he impacted the community," she said. "This is a way for us to say thank you to Bill."

When people do send donations, Burris said she hopes they also send a note about why they are sending a donation. If she gets enough, she wants to put them in a book as a further testament to Hardacre's legacy.


  • Wonderful place
    Beautiful old theater...amazing "starlight" ceiling and pipe organ...if ever a building needed to be saved, that is one...
    This would be a good use for the food & beverage taxes collected.
  • Maybe the lender could help?
    I'm not sure who the lender is that is holding the $800,000 mortgage on the Paramount Theatre, but if the lender is a local or even regional bank, maybe another avenue is to ask the lender to renegotiate the terms of the theatre's note, or even write off part of the debt as a charitable contribution.
  • Great Facility
    The people of Anderson owe this man big time for saving such an amazing historic facility. I pray the money can be raised to keep the Paramount o good fiscal ground for many years to come. As a country we have to stop demolishing our historic gems, and make sure they live on. So glad this civic hero stepped up and saved not only an Anderson treasure but an Indiana one as well.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!