The Paramount Arts Center is expecting some special guests in the upcoming weeks.

Through a $30,000 grant, the venue has purchased a new projector and screen, allowing the theater to show movies again. A private screening of the movie “The Rhythm of My Soul,” which featured Kentucky musicians and root music, introduced the screen to invited patrons Monday night.

The first movie, scheduled for Sept. 5, will be part of an evening hosted by actress Ashley Judd.

TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky, based in Somerset, has provided the funding from a National Scenic Byway grant through TOUR SEKY to the Paramount. The funding was for the purchase of the new projector and screen.

“We are so excited that we were able to find the funding for the projection equipment needed for these venues,” Vicki Kidd, president and CEO of TOUR SEKY, said. “Congressman Hal Rogers and TOUR SEKY acquired the funds to purchase this equipment so that they would be able to showcase the award-winning documentary ‘Rhythm of My Soul.’ The film is a documentary of Kentucky ‘roots music’ and focuses on the history of music in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

The Paramount was delighted with the news.

“This is an incredible gift,” Kathy Setterman, director of the Paramount Arts Center, said. “We are very grateful to Congressman Rogers and the TOUR SEKY staff for making this happen. A projector has been on our wish list for years. It means so much to the theater and to the community for it to finally become a reality!”

“We’ve talked for several years about the possibility of screening classic films, such as the ones that played here years ago, and having film festivals,” Setterman continued. In fact, we have already partnered with the Southern Arts Federation to bring their Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour here. Not only will you get to see these first run documentaries, everyone attending will have the opportunity to meet the filmmaker.”

Similar funding also was awarded to the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Refro Valley Entertainment Center in Renfro Valley, and the U.S. 23 Country Music Museum in Paintsville.

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