Paramount Arts Centre


The Dunham Fund is supporting three projects that will enhance the guest experience at the Paramount Theatre and the creation of a School of Performing Arts.

John C. Dunham School of Performing Arts / $2,000,000

Called the “cultural soul of Aurora,” the 87-year-old Paramount Theatre has attracted overone million people to the Broadway series and boasts the third largest subscriber base in the nation. And now, with its largest grant award ever, the performing arts scene in downtown Aurora is about to get a whole lot better.

The Dunham Fund’s lead grant toward the $4.5 million goal of the Act 2 Capital Campaign will support major areas of expansion and improvement:

Also included in Paramount’s larger plan, however not a part of the Dunham Fund grant:

When complete, Aurora’s downtown will feature a live performing arts and education complex that fills a full city block, serves as an exciting new destination for arts and culture and powers the continued economic revitalization of Aurora’s downtown business district. The Paramount is proven to be a catalyst in the economic growth of downtown Aurora. The Dunham Fund enthusiastically supports the Paramount’s vision for downtown to become a more comprehensive cultural center.

Save-A-Seat Campaign / $500,000

After 86 years of faithful and loyal service, supporting more than 8 million patrons, the Paramount Theatre seats will be retired! New seats will be installed during the summer of 2018 and will have the highest-grade padding and support, will be larger, and more comfortable. Total cost for replacement and installation of the new seats will be $1 million.

The Dunham Fund has issued a $1 for $1 match for all donations to the seat campaign. Gifts of $400 will cover the cost of replacing one seat and will be recognized on a highly visible plaque in the Paramount’s Grand Gallery. Donations can be made in honor of a loved one, in memory of someone, or in a family name.

All $400 contributions will be matched by the Dunham Fund, and therefore will pay for the cost of TWO seats.

Assisted Hearing System / $21,000

The Paramount Theatre regularly showcases wonderful shows, performances and entertainment. However, for their hearing-impaired patrons, the Paramount’s assisted hearing system made enjoying a show and exercise in frustration.

With the Dunham Fund grant, the Paramount will upgrade its antiquated hearing aid system with state-of-the-art technology, with plans to purchase high-end hearing devices, new receivers and better sound equipment. With these upgrades and purchases, those with difficulty hearing will be to enjoy both the dialogue and lyrics at the Paramount’s many award-winning show.