We rolled down Harrison Street from Historical Landmark #299 (Camino of Rancho San Antonio) like a bloodhound chasin’ down a hoodoo there. No longer would we be denied. A Historical Landmark with a marker was in our sights.
This was not just any old Historical Landmark. It is the Historical Landmark in downtown Oakland: The Paramount Theatre (# 884). At one time some overly optimistic city planners felt that the Paramount would single-handedly revive Oakland’s slumping downtown. The grand old dame didn’t have shoulders quite broad enough to carry what weight. However, it has brought a ton of people into Oakland to see music, comedy, lectures, and dance. Here is a link to the Paramount’s website.
The place is a dream, a flashback to the days when kids would take the trolley into the big city to watch a movie and hang out with their friends. I have sat in my office many a night, watching the amazing art deco sign on the front of the Paramount flash and sparkle and shimmy. I can only imagine what less jaded children in the 1940s used to think when they turned onto Broadway and saw the incredible mosaics and the wild neon lights. Our kids still remember going to the Paramount to see old movies and listen to the guy play the pipe organ.
To top it off, we were now on the scoreboard! We had a picture of a marker! This was sort of a relief since we were now sure that the markers did, in fact, exist and weren’t just part of a cruel joke being played by disturbed employees of the Department of Parks.
Two more in downtown Oakland and it was time for lunch…
For more photos, go to my Picasa site.