Summer Film Series

If you’re like a lot of Austinites, when Central Texas’ summer blast furnace fires up, you head for your nearest movie theater, where air conditioned entertainment awaits. And lucky for Austin locals, there’s no shortage of places to see a film, no matter what your taste.

In addition to typical, shopping-center-attached movie theaters, Austin boasts a number of eclectic, year-round alternative movie houses, including the Violet Crown Cinema; five locations of the nationally lauded, Austin-born Alamo Drafthouse; and art house and indie film stronghold, Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills. Still, for those who want an even more unique film experience, lots of other summertime movie-going options abound. Check them out!

Let’s start with the city’s oldest movie palace, the Paramount Theatre. Built in 1915 as the Majestic and used primarily for live vaudeville performances, this Congress Avenue landmark was renamed the Paramount after a 1930 art deco renovation that turned it into a major film venue. After a downturn in fortunes in later decades, the Paramount was saved from destruction in the early 1970s and remodeled into the downtown showplace it is today.


Although it mostly hosts concerts and other performing arts shows, the Paramount also hosts its annual Summer Classic Film Series, which features a variety of both classic and more contemporary favorites. Additional screenings are held in the smaller Stateside at the Paramount next door, which was called the State Theatre when it first opened in 1935. If you go often – and judging from this year’s schedule, you’ll probably want to – the Flix-Tix option buys you a book of 10 admissions for $60.


If you crave a different kind of movie nostalgia, you can re-create the classic drive-in movie experience at the Blue Starlite Drive-In, which bills itself as “Austin’s one and only drive-in movie theater and the world’s first mini urban drive-in.” The Blue Starlite is located at 1901 E. 51st Street, just east of I-35 and under the water tower on the northern edge of the Mueller development. The drive-in only take 30 to 50 cars a night, so be sure to check the schedule, where you can buy advance tickets and even pre-order concessions. Keep an eye out for double features and special promotions!

SC_Poster_POSTER-1-663x1024If you like the idea of seeing an outdoor movie but would rather actually be outside your car, Do512 and the Alamo Drafthouse are again presenting the Sound & Cinema series on the lawn of the Long Center. Every other Wednesday from June 3 through August 12, you can enjoy free family films along with food trucks and live music. With the completion of the renovations to Auditorium Shores, the south bank of Lady Bird Lakke is an even more pleasant place to enjoy a summer evening. The grounds open at 6pm, with the films beginning at dark (around 9pm). Bring your own blanket or folding chair!

Finally, if want to combine outdoor film watching with adult beverages, the Scoot Inn, along with the Austin Chronicle, offers Dive-Inn Theatre. Located on the East Side (1308 E. 4th Street), the Scoot Inn was established in 1871 and often called the oldest bar in Central Texas. For the Dive-Inn Theatre series, free, music-related films are screened in the bar’s large outdoor courtyard, providing a relaxed but festive atmosphere.

You wouldn’t know it after all this rain, but sun-drenched days are just around the corner, and with them, all the fun summer activities Austinites so eagerly anticipate. From everyone at Blairfield Realty, enjoy!

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