New lights mean big savings for historic Seattle theater

SEATTLE - Things just got a whole lot lighter for Seattle's Paramount Theatre - literally.

This week, the historic venue kicked off its Broadway season under thousands of new energy-efficient light bulbs. The upgrade not only lightens the theater's energy load, Seattle City Light said it also will save the Paramount $43,000 on electricity costs every year.

"They are incredibly happy with the new lighting in place," said Scott Thomsen, spokesperson for City Light.

City Light supported the theater's replacement project by offering $136,000 in energy incentives -- part of a program the utility provides businesses and residents throughout Seattle.

"The theater operates on a nonprofit basis, so anything that can save them money each year makes a huge difference on their bottom line and the ability to continue to operate," Thomsen said.

In total, 4,800 bulbs were replaced, including the lights on the theater's massive chandeliers. City Light said everything was done in a way to protect and preserve the historical look and feel inside the theater.

This is the second upgrade City Light has helped with at the Paramount. In 2009, the theater used utility incentives to retrofit the Paramount's outside neon sign.

City Light has offered energy incentives to its customers since 1977.