At a glance, the Paramount Theatre might be looking a little shabby since its neighbor, the Fox Theater, completed its magnificent restoration. Nevertheless, the Paramount remains an astounding Art Deco movie palace, full of ornate etched glass and carved wood panels, golden everything, and two gigantic mosaic sentries standing guard over the marquee — after all, it's been designated a historical landmark three times over. There's no better way to take it all in than by attending its Movie Classics series, where you can see films by cinematic masters like Howard Hawks and Orson Welles the way they were originally seen there: with an organist playing entree music on a four-tiered Wurlitzer, era-specific newsreel shorts providing historical and emotional context for each film, and an authentic, 1936 "Dec-O-Win" wheel of fortune sending patrons home with prizes from local businesses. For a five-spot, this bi-weekly series packs a lot of entertainment into an unforgettable setting. And if you want to dig deeper into the guts of the Paramount Theatre, a tour is offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
© 2016 East Bay Express