BootLeg Betty

From Seattle: The Paramount Theatre Changes Hands

Since 1992, former Microsoft executive Ida Cole has spent countless hours and more than $30 million of her own money to buy, refurbish and oversee Seattle’s historic Paramount Theatre.

“That’s most of my fortune,” admits Cole, who left Microsoft in 1990 with $40 to $50 million worth of company stock, according to Seattle Times estimates. “But my money sort of came out of the air, and I always thought it should go back to the community while I was still young enough to enjoy it.”

Now, Cole and her partners have orchestrated a move to give the Paramount to Seattle Theatre Group, the non-profit organization that manages it. Cole says it’s a gift she is delighted to give.

Mister D: What were her favorite shows? Awww….I think you know!!!

“For me, one of our best shows was Bette Midler,” she said. “I also loved it when we had Prince here, and the Bolshoi Ballet. And I’ve loved seeing so many children in here. What that means to me is that they’re going to come back when they’re adults. They think this place is theirs, and it is.”

Full Article: The Paramount’s biggest fan hands theater to new owners

Misha Berson
Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company

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