Thursday, March 24, 2011

Staind Outside Video

This post was first published in 2009

The Video posted below, By the band "Staind" was filmed at The Hippodrome on September 7th 2001.
The video features over 75 Hippodrome employees as extras. The remaining 300 or so extras were supplied through a local radio station promotion.
The shoot lasted all day and into the evening. The song "Outside" was played over and over through the Hippodrome's sound system.
Over the years, Staind performed at The Hippodrome four times. All of the shows sold out. The first two sold out within hours of going on sale.
The photo is from one of the live performances at The Hippodrome, not the video shoot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I took this picture of the Hippodrome's lighting truss from the Masslive website. I am sure I have hundreds of pictures of it on a CD somewhere, but it is much easier to copy and paste.

This week we started removing it from the Theater.  The truss system featured nine 1-ton motors, 260 feet of box truss, 400 amps of three phase power, and articulating hinges which gave the system the ability to bend in half and contort into an endless amount of configurations.

The system, with it's original lighting, special affects, and video was the ultimate dance floor light show.  The system was raised and lowered throughout the evening to accommodate the evening's programing. For example; The truss was raised while video was played on the movie screens, then lowered for a dance set, raised for the snow and wind machines to be used, then lowered to lift an aerialist  for a trapeze performance, etc. It was an expensive piece of equipment that gave the space versatility.

The first thing we had to do was lower the truss to the floor to remove all of the electrical wiring.
"Me" posing as an electrician

The truss is disassembled and moved. Chains were dropped from the ceiling. Now it's final, Although it hasn't been used as a nightclub since 2005, the Hippodrome (Paramount) is no longer usable as one.

Steve and I took advantage of the fact that Anthony was there with his camera and started posing for pictures by pointing at things that don't exist.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


We Purchased the Paramount Theater in August of 1999. We renovated through 2000 and opened the Hippodrome in December of 2000
                                                 Here are some Before and after Pictures



The old sign was removed in the fall of 2000

The new sign went up in December of 2000





Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

White Elephant To Golden Goose

This article was originally posted in 2009 while the Hippodrome
was closed. I am reposting it now to serve as a reminder as to
how much of an impact this facility and Rain/Skyplex has had on the region.

The Paramount Theater was purchased in the summer of 1999. The Theater hadn't been opened for years, employed no one, and paid no taxes. We Made a huge investment, Saved a local landmark, employed over 150 people, and paid approximately $220,000 in back taxes to the city of Springfield. The Hippodrome opened in December of 2000 after a year of renovations.

We decided to look back over the last 9 years and see what the actual economic impact of our businesses has been for the City and the Region.

The first subject we researched was Police Details. We added up the amounts paid to the Springfield Police Department for Extra Duty Police at The Hippodrome and Rain/Skyplex. I think this makes us the largest private employer of extra duty police in the city. (Not including the gas and electric co.) Police Details $1,093,000 (Yes that is over 1 million dollars)

Next was the total amounts paid to the City of Springfield for Real Estate taxes, licensing, permits, and fees.
Total to City of Springfield for taxes,etc. $1,119,000
(over 1 million dollars again.)

Payroll wages are one of our largest expenses and all of our employees are local residents. This means that the wages we have paid go directly into the local economy.
Wages Paid (excluding owners) $5,600,000
(over 5.5 million)

We have employed plenty of local construction and repair people over the years. This includes, Painters, Plumbers, Carpenters, electricians, HVAC, etc.
Amount spent locally on construction, repairs, etc. $4,375,000

This is the total amount that Rain/Skyplex has directly spent into the local economy

This is the total that The Hippodrome has directly pumped into the local economy

Total for both spent directly into the local economy

We tried to calculate the amount of money that our patrons (over 2 million people) have spent locally and what benefit it has had to the economy. This is a hard number to calculate, but we figure between, Hotel rooms (we know the number was over 500 room nights per year), Parking ( we know our patrons pay to park in local lots),Meal from local restaurants, Gas,Etc.
Benefit to local economy from customers visiting downtown
$20 to 40 Million dollars

Number of Patrons:
well over 2 million

Number of license violations in over 9 years:
0 (zero)

We were also responsible for booking all of the shows for the City Block Summer Concert Series at Stearns Sq. The Skyplex provides the Beer Concessions and bathrooms for the concert series along with the liability insurance for the shows. We didn't take the time to figure any of the economic benefit of our role in these shows, but from a public relations standpoint, this is the area's most anticipated yearly series of events and draws between 30 and 50 thousand people to Downtown Springfield every summer. I will be writing a post about this soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

View From The Top

The Paramount has a 90 ft. "Boom" lift on the dance floor. The lift is being used to install the sprinkler system on the ceiling, which is 60 feet above the floor.
(Click on any of the pictures to enlarge)

Here is a view of the mural above the stage, taken from the same level as the mural. I was bout 15 feet away from it when I took this picture.

The last time we had this type of lift in the theater was in 2000 for the Hippodrome restoration. I have to confess that sometimes at night when all of the workmen go home, I like to take the lift out for a spin. This lift is made to be used indoors "only" and can fit through narrow doorways. That is why I think it sways so much. It takes some getting used to as the lift is rising and the shaking becomes more pronounced, the higher you go.

Above is a picture taken on the way up of the dome in the center of the ceiling.

Here is a view from above the mural. Not a great angle to see the painting, but a very different perspective on the whole theater from this high up.

This is a birds eye view of the Proscenium Arch.

This is the view looking back into the balcony and all of the scaffolding above it.
The dome is lit with red lights.
The batteries on my camera went dead after I snapped these pictures, unfortunately, I wasn't even all the way up to the ceiling yet.
In the next few days I will take the machine for another ride and get some better pictures.