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Published 12:00am Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fans salute historic theater

ASHLAND, Ky. — The Tierney family had their own mini family reunion standing under the marquee of the Paramount Arts Center Saturday morning.

When the Paramount was Ashland’s premium movie theater, the late Jack Tierney was one of the managers there, his daughter Teri Tierney Frost said.

Years later when the Paramount became a performing arts center, Frost, now of Richmond, met her future husband, David, when he had the lead in a community players production of “Hamlet.”

The Tierney clan remembered the times they spent at the historic theater, as it marked its 80th birthday in an all-day community bash.

“This is neat,” Frost said about the celebration. “We would always sit in the boxes upstairs when we came to the movies.”

On Sept. 5, 1931, the doors of the Art Deco theater opened onto Winchester Avenue as moviegoers in velvets and furs hurried in to see “Huckleberry Finn” starring child star, Jackie Coogan, known to future generations as Uncle Fester in “The Addams Family.”

Fast forward 80 years and those who have fond memories of the Paramount were out in full force sharing recollections and eating birthday cake as docents gave tours of the historic theater.

“I remember coming here to see movies with my grandpa,” Sharlene Highfield of Ashland, recalled. “My favorite was ‘Herbie the Love Bug.’ It’s an amazing place.”

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