Paramount Theatre one of Canada's most endangered buildings

The list, compiled annually by The National Trust, contains historic buildings at the greatest risk of demolition.

Built in 1952, it was once the largest theatre in western Canada

The Paramount Theatre operated as a movie theatre from 1952 to 2003. The 1,750-seat theatre was once the largest on the Prairies. (CBC )

Edmonton's historic Paramount Theatre has been added to a list of the ten most endangered places in Canada.

The list, compiled annually by The National Trust, contains historic buildings at the greatest risk of demolition.

The Paramount on Jasper Avenue was built in 1952 and was once the largest movie theatre in western Canada. After the theatre closed in 2003, the building was sold to Calgary development firm ProCura.

“It's a marvellous example of a mid-century modern, international-style building located on an important historic, commercial street in Edmonton,” said Carolyn Quinn, director of communications with Heritage Canada The National Trust.

In May, ProCura confirmed that the building would be demolished and a residential tower built in its place.

However, backlash over the plans, especially from business tenants, seemed to make the company back away from a demolition, at least for now.

Tenants were told that the a tear-down wasn’t planned in the near future and that they would be the first to know if it was going ahead.

Quinn hopes the list will encourage the developer to think twice before it applies for a demolition permit.

“It's an opportunity to try and raise awareness around the value, the significance of the building and, hopefully, an opportunity to incorporate some aspect of it within a new development,” she said.

ProCura said it is focused on other projects and won’t speak about how the publicity will affect the future of the Paramount.


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