Paramount Theatre Ushers: The Secret Symbol to Our Success

You see them at every show. You maybe know their names. But I’d like you to think of them as the face of the Paramount Theatre.

I’m talking about our ushers, of course.

I’m talking about Joan McEachern, a Paramount volunteer for 28 years. I’m talking about Linda Coakes, who ushered more than 100 times last year (despite her knee replacement!). I’m talking about more than 250 teachers, managers, laborers, nurses, waiters, salespeople and retirees who filled vital behind-the-scenes, labor-of-love roles for us last year.

Okay, but…really?  Should ushers be the face of our theater? Wouldn’t some beloved performer or brilliant director be a better choice? Or a high-flying sponsor or prominent board member?

Not when you stop and think about how Paramount defines success.

Sure, every theater loves great reviews and black ink. But the number one metric on our dashboard is our impact on our community. We come to work every day not just to create great art, but to create great art that fills our community with people who are more enlightened, more connected, more sensitive to the human condition.

In other words, our real aim is to shape the kind of community that people want to give back to.

And that’s why our legion of selfless volunteers and generous donors is our best possible symbol of success. They pitch in not just because they love theater, but because – like Paramount — they’re community-builders.

Diverse as they are, they all tend to call Paramount their “second home.” We’re deeply honored by that.

And so, during this strangest of National Volunteer Weeks – when our volunteers can’t actually join us at the theater – we at Paramount are more determined than ever to tell them, “Welcome home.”


Tim Rater
President and CEO