Paramount Theater

A historic theater in downtown Austin showcases live music, comedy and film screenings. 

The Paramount Theatre sits in a busy area of restaurants, cafés and clubs on North Congress Avenue in the heart of downtown Austin. You can find all sorts of cultural fare at the Paramount. In the past this has included musical theater productions of classics like Evita or My Fair Lady, performances by comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, or intimate speaking events with stars such as Glenn Close. There are also live shows from musical greats like B.B. King and regular screenings of recent or classic movies. 

You never know what you’ll find here: a set of contemporary folk music, for example, or a movie marathon. Ticket prices for events vary depending on what you want to see. Check the Paramount Theatre web site for a calendar of events and more details. 

This charming theater took less than a year, and $150,000, to build in 1915. Its red brick and white detailing is a mix of classical revival and baroque revival architecture. Vaudevillian acts were the first type of performances here, followed by silent movies, then "talkies." Major films have premiered here over the years, including the first Batman movie in 1966 and Sin City in 2005. The Paramount played a major role in the war effort in the 1940s by raising money for the troops. It is one of only a few theaters remaining in the country that originally screened Casablanca in 1942 when the film was released. 

You won't have any trouble finding something to eat before your show. Much of the downtown area is arranged in a grid, so it’s easy to navigate on foot. Buses stop along Congress Avenue and the downtown train station is a 10-minute walk from the Paramount. 

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