By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
By chance Robert Boone happened to be walking in downtown Anderson at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and noticed water flowing from the historic Paramount Theatre Centre.
Boone contacted ADT Security Services and Anderson Police Department dispatch to report the flowing water.
Gayle Jones Burris, executive director of the Paramount, received a call about 1 a.m. Thursday informing her of a problem at the theater.
Boone said he was catching up on some daily walking when he noticed the water coming from the building.
“I normally walk 8 to 10 miles a day,” he said. “I hadn’t been able to walk for three days. There was no traffic.”
Boone said he noticed water seeping from underneath the Paramount Theatre Centre.
“I was in building maintenance for 35 years,” he said. “I knew something was wrong.
“I put my ear up against the window and it sounded like Niagara Falls,” Boone said. “When I looked in I could see debris on the floor.”
Burris said a water line broke in the theater’s second-floor kitchen, flooding the adjoining Marquee Room and damaged the first-floor concession area.
The water caused extensive damage to the ceiling of the concession area.
“We don’t know the exact extent of the damage,” Burris said Thursday. “We do have insurance.”
Burris said the pipe that broke is the building’s only water line on an outside wall.
She is hopeful the carpeting in the Marquee Room can be saved as fans and a space heater were being used to dry the area.
“We had to scoop up the pieces of the fallen ceiling in the concession area with a snow shovel,” Burris said. “We don’t know if there is standing water above the concession area.”
Employees of Service Master were assessing the damage on Thursday morning.
The next event scheduled at the Paramount Theatre Centre is an open jam session next Tuesday.
Burris said the damage was mainly cosmetic. She said the electrical lines in the building are OK and the main concern is the original 1929 chandelier in the concession area.
She said the main theater portion of the building suffered no damage and the open jam session should take place as scheduled.
“Two years ago when the basement flooded, we were open in two days,” she said.
A grateful Burris said Boone will have a lifetime pass to events at the theater.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.