The building was purchased by the Oakland Symphony Orchestra for $1 million who reopened the Paramount on September 22, 1973. The Oakland Symphony sold out nearly all seats on subscription sales and sold out a majority of individual concerts. But despite this, the building was still a financial burden. Rather than take on these mounting costs, the Oakland Symphony transferred the Paramount to the City of Oakland for $1, in exchange for forty years of free rent. They continued with that agreement until the Oakland Symphony Orchestra filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 1986.
Seeing an opportunity, a group of seven private citizens banded together and approached city officials with the idea of managing and operating the Paramount on behalf of the city as a nonprofit organization. They agreed, and the management structure has remained to this day.