Saturday, November 10, 2012

Paramount aka Hippodrome nee Paramount

Having recently joined the Quaboag Hills Photography Club I was privy to a photowalk they arranged at the old Paramount Theater, or Hippodrome as it was known during it's club days, before being reverted back to the original name. It was recently bought for $1.7 million by a local non-profit with the intent of securing a further $36 million for complete restoration. 

The building's interior is still in remarkably good condition given it's age and the pounding it must have recieved during it's recent stint as a night club.

The stage area still seems to have all it's original fixtures for curtain and light controls.

Fresco type murals and flourished carvings adorn the high walls.

The hallways and various side rooms all retain that early 20th century flair. Maybe it's club days actually served to sustain the old decor, rather than ruin it.

Up high in the old neglected projection rooms, time has taken a heavier toll.

For all the debris and clutter left behind decades ago, I could still catch a whiff of celluloid in the air.

This section reminded me of the state of the Victory Theater in Holyoke, a contemporary theater and similarly beautiful, though in more dire need of rejuvination.

Hopefully the new owners can give this old building the attention it deserves, and restore a lost classic.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Brown Vs. Swan

The gauntlet was thrown down last spring, and it was a raucous but lighthearted basketball challenge between Senator Scott Brown and Springfield's Reverend Talbert Swan at the Dunbar Y Community Center in Springfield.

It was a charity event for the benefit of  the Path to Manhood program, and the recently destroyed South End Community Center. Both teams were aided by a bevy of local politicos.

Both teams came out swinging and came here to win. The game was fast paced and as typical a little bit physical, but the mood always remained in the spirit of good fun and charity.

Brown defends against Swan.
Brown takes a shot.
Brown is knocked down, and helped up by Sarno.
Brown's team discusses strategy.
Swan and Brown race up the court.
Sarno takes a free throw.
Sarno defends against Rivera.
Neal makes a pass.

Williams and Rivera take a break.
Brown cools off.
A moment of levity between play.
Suddenly, late in the game, Swan goes down with an injury.
Brown helped Swan back on his feet.
and Swan is helped off the court.
The game resumes as the final minutes wind down...
...culminating in a literal last second basket- putting Swan's team one point ahead for an exciting win.

The crowd, of course, went wild.

It was a great game for the players to play, the spectators to watch, and the charities to benefit. A three point shot.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Officer Down

I joined a solemn crowd of onlookers at recently fallen Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose's funeral procession. The procession made it's way from the funeral service at St. Catherine of Siena church on Parker Street in Springfield, and moved north to nearby Hillcrest Park Cemetery.


Thank you for your service Officer Ambrose.