Paramus is a borough in Bergen County, Northern New Jersey, New Jersey, United States. A bedroom community in New York City, Paramus is located 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan and approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Upper Manhattan. The Wall Street Journal characterized Paramus as “quintessentially suburban.” The borough is also a central commercial hub for North Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough’s population was 26,342, reflecting an increase of 605 (+2.4%) from the 25,737 counted in the 2000 Census, which had increased by 670 (+2.7%) from the 25,067 counted in the 1990 Census. Paramus was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 2, 1922, and ratified by a referendum held on April 4, 1922, passed by a vote of 238 to 10. Paramus was created from portions of Midland Township, which now exists as Rochelle Park. The borough’s name is thought to be from the Unami language of the Lenape Native Americans, derived from words meaning “land of the turkeys” or “pleasant stream.” Paramus has some of the most restrictive blue laws in the nation, dating back to the 17th century, banning nearly all white-collar and retail businesses from opening on Sundays except for gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, and a limited number of other companies. Despite this, the borough is one of the largest shopping destinations in the country, generating over $6 billion in annual retail sales, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States.
The area that became northern New Jersey, NJ, was occupied for thousands of years by prehistoric indigenous peoples. At the time of the European encounter, it was settled by the Lenape Native Americans. The Lenape language word for the area, Peremessing, which meant that it had an abundant wild turkey population, was anglicized to become the word “Paramus.” A large metal statue of a wild turkey in the Paramus Park mall commemorates this history. Another alternative derivation is that the word means “pleasant stream.”
Arts and Culture
One of the earliest drive-in theaters opened in Paramus, featuring what was said to be the world’s largest and brightest screen, located behind what is now Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Drive-In closed in 1987 after the last movie presentation, a double-feature of “Crocodile” Dundee and The Untouchables. EZ Bed Bug Exterminator NJ
Currently, Paramus’ lone movie theater complex is a 16-screen AMC Theatres located in new construction at Westfield Garden State Plaza. Before opening the AMC complex, several theatres were closed in the borough, including the Route 4 Temple and the Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex, once located next to Westfield Garden State Plaza on Route 17. The Triplex and Tenplex theatres were opened on October 12, 1965, by Century Theatres and were closed on May 24, 2007, by Loews Cineplex Entertainment. On May 25, 2007, the new AMC Theatres opened at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Picture Show, known as Cinema 35 until 1997, closed in December 2004 due to declining attendance. A 12-screen Regal Cinemas was planned to open at Paramus Park due to renovations that would have replaced the Sears store with a Stew Leonard’s location. However, the plans were canceled after Stew Leonard’s took up more space than expected.
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