At drive-in theaters, the best seats are reserved for punctual elitists and fashionably late monster trucks. Avoid the perils of Hobbesian parking battles by settling into a cozy seat with today's Groupon: for $8, you get a movie ticket, popcorn, and soda at Paramount Theatre (a $17 value).
For the 35th year running, Paramount Theatre's Summer Film Series has given Austinites a way to escape the tarp-like heat that drapes itself over the city. This season's selection of movies runs the gamut from Bogart to Batman, with more than 80 classic films on tap, with something for all ages and film-going tastes. Enjoy single-bill showings such as Wings (the first film to win the Oscar for Best Picture) on June 23, the staggering epic Lawrence of Arabia on August 28–29 (it pretty much takes that long to show), or The Big Lebowski, your pizza delivery guy's favorite movie, on September 5. Single tickets are also good for thematic double-feature showings on the same day. The lighthearted children's classics Goodfellas and Raging Bull play back to back on June 15–16. Terms of Endearment and Places in the Heart will moisten the hankies on June 26–27. Otherwise, relive the '80s with Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink on August 3–4, or risk an overdose of camp with the cult classics (July 17–18) double bill of Valley of the Dolls and Showgirls, which includes a lighthearted striptease-aerobics class before the screening. Along the way, viewers will get to bask in the silvery glow cast by the giant celluloid heads of Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep.
Give silent films a crunch-and-sip soundtrack with popcorn and a soda from the concession stand while simultaneously being rendered speechless yourself by the historical movie-palace decadence of the Paramount Theatre, which was built in 1915. Fill your eyes, ears, and elbows with cinematic goodness this summer at the Paramount Theatre.
- The Paramount is the grande dame of Austin theatres, the crown jewel of Austin’s Downtown arts panoply. – Austin Chronicle
- This place is an absolute gem. Their summer movie series pretty much made my year. – Jared J., Yelp
- When I slip into one of the seats and the lights go down, I feel transported to a simpler time. – Lisa M., Yelp
Designed by legendary movie-house architect John Eberson and opened to the public as a vaudeville palace in 1915, the venue enjoyed performances by the likes of Harry Blackstone and Katharine Hepburn in its heyday. But things fell into decline during the 1960s as televisions became commonplace, more people migrated to the suburbs, and the stage’s trapdoor spontaneously grew fangs. The Paramount’s multi-tiered seating and historic ceiling murals languished in the theater’s years to follow as a tragically underused B-movie cinema.
In 1973, three men—John M. Bernardoni, Charles Eckerman, and Stephen L. Scott—formed a corporation with the ultimate goal of rescuing the Paramount, by that time slated for destruction. Soon, live performers were regularly supplementing a classed-up movie schedule, and the stage was graced by such artists as Dave Brubeck and Debbie Allen. The theater’s star rose ever higher in the ‘80s and ‘90s as the curtains introduced the world to such lasting works as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and the Greater Tuna series. Today, the lovingly built and rebuilt artifact is a constant reminder of Austin’s long history of arts appreciation.
713 Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701Get Directions