The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series


The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series makes Austin’s long, hot summers seem a little more bearable.

Bill and I attend shows and events at The Paramount year-round, but we particularly like watching classic movies in this equally classic theater. This venue opened in 1915 as a vaudeville stage and has hosted live performances and movies ever since. The Paramount’s seats may not be the most comfortable, but the screen is large, the sound system is clear, the crowds are eclectic, and best of all, the air conditioning is on.


Movies are also being shown next door at the State Theatre this summer. Built in 1935, this theater recently reopened after being closed for the last few years due to flooding from a water main break. Years ago, downtown Austin was filled with theaters but only these two, plus The Ritz (now an Alamo Drafthouse), are still being used as theaters. (By the way, the Austin History Center has an excellent exhibit, “The First Picture Shows,” tracing the history of movie theaters in Austin. But visit soon because the exhibit ends on August 19.)

One-page handouts are available at most shows and provide excellent background material about the films. These are written by local movie fan, Frank Campbell, or The Paramount’s film programmer, Jesse Trussell. Jesse often gives a verbal introduction to the movies as well.
My favorite classic movies (and directors) from this summer’s series included:
My Man Godfrey (Gregory La Cava)
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock)
Seven Chances (Buster Keaton)
The Sting (George Roy Hill)
Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest)

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