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Paramount Theater names new executive director

Julie Montross has been named executive director of the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, the organization’s board of directors announced Monday.

Montross most recently served as senior vice president of business development at Club Management Association of America. She succeeds Chris Eure, who held the position for 10 years and announced her retirement in November of last year.

She was appointed by Alexandria’s City Council to serve on the Commission for the Arts in 2017, she chaired the commission’s ARTreach Committee and served on the executive committee as secretary. Montross also served as Arts Commission Liaison on the Alexandria Arts Alliance Board of Directors before relocating with her family to the Charlottesville area in the fall of 2021.

“[Montross’] track record of creating, growing and nurturing professional relationships rooted in common values and meaningful partnerships is precisely the mission-minded perspective that is essential to the continued success of The Paramount Theater,” Paramount Theater Board member and co-chair for the search committee, Craig Littlepage, said in a press release.

The Paramount Theater first opened on Main Street on Thanksgiving Eve in 1931. It operated for decades as a segregated building as was required by law in Virginia at the time. African-Americans and persons of color were required to use the theater’s Third Street entrance, which has be preserved.

The theater closed in 1974 but efforts were soon launched to save the theater from threats of demolition.

In 1992, the non-profit Paramount Theater, Inc. purchased the building. With a grant from the City of Charlottesville, the work began with the restoring the Main Street marquee.

The $16.2 million project included restoration of the theater and the creation of new facilities to make the Paramount a regional performing arts center.

The Paramount Theater opened its doors to the public once more on December 15, 2004 more than thirty years after it had closed.

“The Paramount is such an important piece of Charlottesville history, and equally as important, its future. Being a part of the Paramount Theater story is an honor,” Montross said in a press release.


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