In the 1920s,
there were at least seven theatres in Waterloo: the Majestic,
the Columbia, Waterloo, the Strand, State, Orpheum and the
Rialto. The grandest theatre of all was built in 1927, first
called the Riveria, then renamed as the Paramount. It was
located on the east end of the Fourth Street Bridge. The
theatre had many luxuries, including twinkling stars, moving
clouds in the ceiling and air conditioning. The outside
of the building looked like a palace. Unfortunately, the
theatre was located next to the Illinois Central belt line
and the railroad engines often drowned out the actors' lines.
The Paramount was torn down in 1972 as part of a downtown
Waterloo flood control project.