The Paramount’s brightly illuminated Broadway-style sign in the Theater District has taken over the role of eye-catcher along Washington Street, now that the Filene’s infamous clock tower is no more. The space was originally opened as a cinema in the 1930s, but was forced to shutter in the mid-1970s, a time when the entire downtown area needed to be revitalized. In 2005, Emerson College purchased the building, renovated the interior and transformed it into the intimate 596-seat venue it is today. With large gold columns and artistically painted walls, The Paramount’s main stage stands out. But the facility also hosts nine rehearsal studios, four classrooms, a sound stage, the Bright Family screening room and two smaller performance spaces that host everything from comedians and dance troupes to more official theatrical productions.