This national historic landmark stands out as one of the finest Art Deco buildings not just in California, but in the country. Designed by famed San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger in 1931, the Paramount incorporates the works of leading muralists, sculptors, and painters. After its early heyday, the theatre entered a long period of neglect before it was restored to its original, gold-gilted splendour. Stand outside and marvel at the meticulously restored, towering mosaics on the building’s façade, then step inside to the head-swivelling display of golden reliefs and classic Art Deco patterns and symbols decorating the interior.
The Oakland Ballet and the Oakland East Bay Symphony are resident companies at the Paramount. But this is a theatre that can rock, too: Bruce Springsteen has played to a sold-out house from the Paramount’s stage, and comedian Chris Rock has performed here several times.
Insider’s tip: Learn more about the Paramount’s amazing architecture on 2-hour tours offered the first and third Saturday of the month (nominal fee for tour).