Emily C. Roush
The Ashland Beacon
On October 22 at 8 p.m., the Paramount Joe Ghost Hunt is set to take place at the Paramount Arts Center. This unique occasion embraces the sometimes-spooky past of the historic theatre. According to the event’s Facebook page, this is the second public ghost hunt at the Paramount, and all proceeds “go to replace our Great Sign and Canopy that has been damaged by years of harsh weather.” The fundraiser is being coordinated by Paramount Woman’s Association (PWA), a volunteer organization that supports the Paramount’s educational programming, cultural activities, and building preservation.
The Paramount Arts Center is thrilled to work with the PWA on this fundraiser to restore and preserve a historic feature theatre. According to Carly Stout, Director of Development and Volunteer Services, “The Paramount Arts Center has seen so much life within our walls since opening 1931. With 90 years of operation, we have seen everything from Broadway and ballet to Billy Ray Cyrus.
Unfortunately, with 90 years of excellence also comes the problems a 90-year-old building would have. Our beautiful marquee is in desperate need of restoration. The Paramount Women’s Association and the Paramount Arts Center’s Development Department are working tirelessly to fundraise for its restoration. Entering Ashland would not be the same without seeing that marquee. We need Ashland to help us. An easy way they can is to come to the Ghost Hunt on October 22. The money raised from this activity will all go toward the marquee’s restoration.”
The event’s celebrity host is Bill Brock, whose work is known to many because of his television show Monsters Underground that aired on the Discover Network. PWA President Ashley Fletcher announced and introduced Brock on the event Facebook page. “Meet our Host Bill Brock. He's a Cryptozoologist & Paranormal Investigator. He has traveled all over the US to investigate paranormal activity. Look for his new project 'Rogue Adventures’ coming soon with videos and stories about cool locations with a dark history, which fits right in with our Paramount Arts Center [and] Paramount Joe. Come investigate with him and his team as they look into the legend of Paramount Joe.”
Paramount Joe is the moniker given to construction worker from Cincinnati named Joe who was found dead inside building’s auditorium while working on a project in 1940. Since then, many staff, volunteers, and patrons of the Paramount claim to have felt his presence through incidences like cold drafts, unusual sounds, and missing objects. The legend of Paramount Joe is so prolific that the City of Ashland declared October 11, 2018 to be “Paramount Joe Day.”
Fletcher described event’s program for the evening to The Greater Ashland Beacon. “It is a guided tour. Everyone will be split up into teams and they will have an official paranormal investigator with their tools to check out different parts of the building.” She continued, “the Marquee room will be open for snacks and we will have Paramount Joe T-Shirts for sale.”
The Paramount Joe Ghost Hunt will take place on October 22 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Participants should arrive at 7:30 p.m. to check in for the event. Individual tickets are now on sale for $30 at the Paramount Arts Center at 1300 Winchester Avenue, and the deadline to purchase is October 20.
More information about the event, including group pricing, can be found by contacting Fletcher at 606.465.8931. Those who wish to support the restoration project are also welcome to send monetary donations directly to the Paramount.
Also hitting the PAC is The Brothers Grimm hit, Into the Woods, an epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make.
The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child - Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.
Catch the Paramount Players performing Into the Woods this Friday and Saturday, October 15 and 16, with tickets starting at $15.