Happy 100th Birthday

Then and now: Celebrating 100 years of the Paramount Theatre through pictures

Celebrating 100 years of the Paramount Theatre through pictures

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The iconic Paramount Theatre is turning 100 years old this year. Photo by Nicole Raney
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The theater originally opened as the Majestic on October 11, 1915. It wasn't known as the Paramount until Paramount Pictures bought it in 1930. Courtesy of Paramount Theatre
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The Paramount Theatre during the 1966 world premiere of Batman starring Adam West Courtesy of Paramount Theatre
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The Paramount Theatre during the 2015 centennial celebration announcement. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Congress Avenue sometime between the 1930's and 1950's, when the State Theatre and the Queen Theater were still open and the Paramount blade had not yet been lost. Courtesy of Paramount Theatre
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Congress Avenue today. The Queen Theater eventually turned in to The Contemporary Austin while the State Theatre is now known as Stateside at the Paramount. Photo by Nicole Raney
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A view of the stage during the 1930's. Courtesy of Paramount Theatre
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A view of the stage now. The famous painting of St. Cecilia wasn't added until the much needed renovations around the 1970's. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Later this year, the Paramount Theatre hopes to erect a historically accurate recreation of the original blade (which was mysteriously lost in the 1960's.) Courtesy of Paramount Theatre
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For now, Stateside at the Paramount (formerly known as the State Theatre) is the only remaining blade on that slice of Congress Avenue. Photo by Nicole Raney
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During the centennial announcement, a hologram of Harry Houdini gave guests an glimpse back in time to his 1916 performance on the Paramount stage. Photo by Nicole Raney
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The famous artists' wall where musicians, actors, writers, comedians, celebrities and performers of all sorts have left their signatures over the years. Photo by Nicole Raney
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During Tuesday's centennial announcement, guests were treated to a performance from the Jitterbug Vipers and a bar on stage. Photo by Nicole Raney
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Paramount Theatre_100 Years_Congress Avenue Now_Centennial Announcement_2015
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Paramount Theatre_100 Years_Stage Now_Centennial Announcement_2015
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Despite a name change, two world wars, multiple economic recessions and near demolition, The Paramount Theatre has remained in continuous operation in the same downtown location since it opened on October 11, 1915.

In celebration of this century-long run, the Paramount is hosting a variety of special events throughout the year. During a festive party on Tuesday night that included jugglers, a Harry Houdini hologram, Jaston Williams, the Jitterbug Vipers and more, the Paramount Theatre announced a slew of celebrations slated for the coming months.

In May, the Paramount will host a star-studded Centennial Gala featuring Lyle Lovett and "his amazing friends." In addition to the party, both Lovett and Jerry Jeff Walker will be added to Paramount's Avenue of Stars next to Jaston Williams and Joe Sears (a.k.a. Vera Carp and Pearl Burras of Greater Tuna).

The Paramount is also planning at least four free events representative of different iconic moments during the theater's history, including a screening of The Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn and the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. Details about the other two events, which will include an evening with local director Robert Rodriguez, have yet to be announced.

Everything will culminate later this year with the resurrection of the iconic Paramount Theatre blade. Originally erected in 1930 when Paramount Pictures bought the theater (and the name changed to what we know and recognize today), the blade was taken down in 1963 for renovations never to be seen again. Multiple leads have been followed by theater officials over the years, but nobody has a clue what happened to it.

As a birthday present, the Paramount has commissioned a remake of the blade complete with hundreds of buzzing light bulbs in the original colors. Although an exact date has yet to be decided, a 100th birthday party will occur sometime later this year around October 11.

Stay tuned for more event announcements during this year-long party for the Paramount Theatre.