Paramount Theater Austin is one of the most renowned theaters in all of Texas, and it has long been a fixture on Congress Avenue in the heart of the capital city's Downtown District. The likes of the Marx Brothers, Harry Houdini, Helen Hayes, and Katherine Hepburn have figured in past Austin Paramount Theater performances, and this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to famous faces that have graced the stage or the big screen. Many famous stars have also been showcased at the Paramount Theater Austin during Hollywood movie premiers and other special film-related events. Paramount Theater tours in Austin offer tremendous insight into the history of this famous structure, and they are recommended for anyone who likes history, the performing arts, and architecture.
Built in 1915, the Paramount Theater Austin opened as a Vaudeville house and was originally known as the Majestic Theatre. In the early 1930s, major renovations converted the Vaudeville house into a movie house, and the new name was adopted. Paramount Pictures became the new owners in the 1930s, and the Paramount name has stuck ever since. From the 1930s on up until the early 1960s, the Paramount Theater Austin enjoyed a wonderful reputation, serving as a major Texas entertainment venue. During the 60s and 70s, however, it started to fall by the wayside. Thankfully, there were those who saw the value in this beautiful and historic theater, and after another series of major renovations, it re-opened in 1980 to much fanfare. Thanks to its history and its modern functionality, the Paramount Theater is one of the top attractions in Austin, even serving as a major venue for the SXSW Festival and the Austin Film Festival.
Today, Austin Paramount Theater performances include ballet shows, touring plays, lectures, and theater productions, and more. Comedians are often known to drop by for performances, with past comedy acts including Lily Tomlin and George Carlin, and movies are still shown on the big screen regularly. While the nearby State Theater on Congress Avenue is more prolific when it comes to producing its own shows, the Paramount Theater adds a few of its own productions to the schedule in addition to hosting outside acts. For travelers on Austin family vacations, it is worth noting that the Paramount theater offers a series of children's plays that can make excellent additions to the itinerary.
In addition to attending a movie, a film festival, a Broadway-style production, a comedy show, or any other number of other Austin Paramount Theater performances, those who are interested in getting a look inside this historic gem of a building can also enjoy a tour. The Paramount Theater tours in Austin highlight both the history and the architecture of the building. There are even a few ghost stories tossed into the mix to make things even more interesting. Paramount Theater tours in Austin can be enjoyed Monday through Thursday, and appointments must be made. A minimum of five people is required to get a tour off the ground.