Back in October 2021, I reported the closing of the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. The city of Asbury Park issued a notice of default over safety concerns to Madison Marquette, which has developed the historic Asbury Park boardwalk. The Paramount Theatre opened in July 1930 and has been hit with Hurricane Sandy, residuals from many strong tropical storms and remnants of Ida.

The 93-year-old building was deemed unsafe for human occupancy by Madison Marquette after the city of Asbury Park gave them a default regarding safety concerns. Convention Hall was also deemed unsafe but the grand arcade and all the businesses in the arcade remained open.

I am thrilled to hear that according to the TriCity News, Madison Marquette plans to rehabilitate Convention Hall, the Paramount Theatre and the old Casino at the south end of the famed Asbury Park boardwalk.

In looking at the projected plans, which will require both federal and state tax credits, and cost close to $130 million, the changes that are projected are exciting and so welcome in providing more entertainment opportunities that have been shut down with entertainers and fans busting at the seam waiting for some type of movement to rehab or rebuild these iconic facilities.

With the new plans, Convention Hall would become a state-of-the-art venue with a 3,500 seating capacity. The beautiful Paramount Theatre will also be rehabilitated and will continue to have a 1600-seat capacity. The entire Convention Hall will be sealed to provide year-round comfort in attending events at Convention Hall and the Paramount and allow for shopping and dining opportunities.

One of the most exciting parts of this development is the projected transformation of the old Casino at the end of the boardwalk. I was happy to hear that the new plans call for adding an outdoor entertainment venue that will have a seating capacity of 5,000. Wow! The plan also has a transformation of the inside of the Casino.

As a result of the planned 5,000-seat venue at the Casino, the famed Summer Stage at The Stone Pony will be moving to the Casino. Of course, the iconic Stone Pony will still remain one of the best music venues in the country.

As the TriCity News reported, these changes are ambitious. The projected costs are TriCity News projections. As with any projections expect changes and snags but the fact that Madison Marquette is pushing forward with these changes are music to my ears. The venues up and down the boardwalk, as many small and large businesses here in New Jersey were hurt badly by the pandemic and a very slow return to pre-pandemic numbers. This is a life-saver that we can all enjoy.

I’ll see you in Asbury Park!

Thank you triCity News for the report.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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