Paramount Theatre becomes home to Deadmonton House

The dilapidated, long-defunct Paramount Theatre has a new tenant; an awful, horrible, terrifying tenant.

Deadmonton House moves into dilapidated Jasper Avenue landmark

Deadmonton House moved into the Paramount Theatre on Jasper Avenue for two years. (Courtesy of Deadmonton House)

The dilapidated, long-defunct Paramount Theatre has a new tenant; an awful, horrible, terrifying tenant. 

At least that what Ryan Kozar hopes, if all goes as planned.

Kozar, an Edmonton firefighter, is the man behind Deadmonton House, the city's first haunted house venue.

He has leased the Paramount for two years, once the largest movie theatre on the prairies, now abandoned and perennially at risk of demolition.

So for the month of October in 2015 and in 2016, the Jasper Avenue landmark will host a house of horror.

Visitors will learn the tragic tale of a farm family hit by hard times. Their legend eventually grows so big, a local film group decides to put a play on in an abandoned theatre near the farm. 

Kozar moved in May and has already been working on the "extremely-detailed" sets.

The devil will be in the details, he hopes.

If the living room scene looks exactly like a living room, people will buy into the story, he said.

"It puts you in that mood," he told Edmonton AM host Tim Adams. "You think you're in that atmosphere or in that scene. That's what make you vulnerable."

It's the second year of haunted housing for Kozar . Last year he used an abandoned warehouse across from Grant McEwan University.

Kozar said he doesn't have a background in theatre, but has a passion for horror.

"As an adult, Halloween disappears unless you have kids," he said. "When you see people leaving laughing, crying, screaming, it's so much fun."

"Trust me when you go through, it's not what you expect. You'll love it."