25/50 Anniversary: Our Story (1976-2023)

25/50 Anniversary: Our Story (1976-2023)

Mar 15, 2023

This 2023 year, Paragon Sight & Sound is proud to celebrate a dual anniversary: 50 years since Paragon was founded, and 25 years since Larry Marcus took ownership of the company. We take a look back at our history, as well as extend our thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been with us along the way.

Owner Larry Marcus at Paragon's former store in Toledo, OH (1999)

1973-1997: ORIGINS

Paragon's story begins in 1973 with the opening of the original store, named "Paragon Sound," on Monroe Street in Toledo, Ohio. The store gained a reputation for offering high-end audio products, specializing in 2-channel audio.

Meanwhile, Larry Marcus was building his career in the A/V industry during the 70s and 80s while completing college and graduate school. After graduation, Larry practiced law for eight years before spending another eight years in the store fixture business.

However, Larry's lifelong passion for audio, which began as a little boy with his first all-in-one stereo, eventually led him back to the A/V world. Larry made his initial investment in Paragon in 1994, and by 1997, he became the sole owner, fully immersing himself in the business. As Paragon's fourth owner, and upon acquiring the company in difficult times both for Paragon and the region, Larry's first challenge would be cultivating a unique mission and identity for the company that could last.
An early Paragon home theater installation


Larry, despite his passion for high-quality 2 channel stereo, recognized the growing demand for home theater and custom home automation. The change of name to "Paragon Sight & Sound" would mark two key points for the future. The first was that the industry was changing; the second was that Paragon needed to create a new identity for a new era.


Larry expanded the business by opening a second store in 2000, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having already spent several years living in the town and developing a deep appreciation for its unique charms, the Marcus family was delighted to bring Paragon to this vibrant community. Before long, the Ann Arbor location exceeded the original store and ultimately became the company's sole location.


Shortly after the opening of the Ann Arbor store came 9/11, clearly a defining moment for America in a multitude of ways, including its economic effect on certain industries and regions.

Larry made the tough decision to move Paragon to a smaller store in south Ann Arbor in 2003, the first downsize of his tenure. Larry & his staff took this opportunity to refocus on core values: excellent customer service, and a shared love for music and film. Through these relationship-focused efforts, Paragon was able to create a business plan for the future aimed at growth while keeping the company's core values.

HOME SWEET HOME: 2008-Present

Paragon's Jackson Rd. Store (2008)


Paragon Sight & Sound relocated to its current location on Jackson Road in Ann Arbor in 2008. Since then, the store has experienced significant growth, expanding twice from two to four suites, adding several unique audition rooms, and establishing an offsite service center and warehouse.


Audition Room 1
Audition Room 2
World of McIntosh Experience Center
McIntosh Reference Room
McIntosh Reference Room
McIntosh Home Theater
Modern Music Center (MMC)
Modern Music Center (MMC)
Paragon Lobby


Larry Marcus, on the importance of Paragon's in-store events:

“At Paragon, we do not wish to be a transactional operation, but rather to build a community both locally and online. Building a community is one of the objectives we feel is necessary, and our in-store events are crucial means of achieving this goal. Despite the evolving landscape of the industry, including consumer shows where brands lacking a significant retail presence sell products in a purely transactional manner, we at Paragon are in it for the long haul. We’re committed to giving our clients value added and a deep sense of belonging to our community.