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Summer Flicks

Catch film fever during the Paramount Theatre's Summer Classic Film Series

Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
Casablanca (1942) will start off the Paramount Theatre's Summer Classic Film Series. Courtesy photo
News_February_placeholder_Gone with the Wind_Clark Gable_Vivien Leigh
Gone with the Wind closes the 2013 series.
film critic Leonard Maltin May 2013
Film critic Leonard Maltin will take part in a conversation on film as part of the Paramount Theatre's Summer Classic Film Series. Courtesy of ETonline

Summertime and movies go hand-in-hand, especially if you live in Texas. That’s mostly because movie theaters are always there to provide entertainment while blasting audiences with refreshing air conditioning.

The Paramount Theatre wants to help you beat the heat this summer with its extensive Summer Classic Film Series. Announced today, the lineup includes flicks ranging from Hollywood classics to international cinema, along with plenty of selections that will please both young and old.

The series will kick off with a double feature of Casablanca and Annie Hall on May 23 and runs through the rest of the summer heat with a final evening screening of Gone with the Wind. Also book ending the summer series are two evening discussions with the biggest film buffs around — legendary critic Leonard Maltin and Turner Classic Movies host and film historian Robert Osborne.

Paramount’s Summer Classic Film Series has a scope and depth that must be experienced. Film Programmer Stephen Jannise certainly had his work cut out for him when curating this year’s selection of cinema.

“I think when you’re programming a calendar of films as long as this one, you have to treat it like a puzzle that requires a number of varied pieces to fit together perfectly,” says Jannise. “After you put a first draft of a schedule together, you can look at it as a whole and realize that maybe you have too many films from a particular genre or too few of another category.”

The lineup features a nearly perfect blend that caters to multiple preferences, whether it’s a big screen epic like Lawrence of Arabia projected in 70mm, a classic westerns like Shane, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s event complete with martinis and manicures, or a full week devoted to Hitchcock.

“I don’t stop tinkering with the schedule until I feel like I’ve put something together that would satisfy the wonderfully diverse audience that is Austin," Jannise continues.

Not only will the Paramount screen time-honored films, many of them will be shown in their original 35mm prints alongside the series’ other digital screenings. Though film fans lament the rise of digital cinema, Jannise is more than happy to screen both the past and present of cinema side-by-side — and many studios happily oblige theaters that prefer the old film stock.

“For all the doom and gloom that people are preaching about the end of 35mm, most of the studios are still willing and able to lend us their 35mm prints. It has been, thankfully, quite easy to work with these distributors, and most of them are thrilled that their prints are still in demand.”

Jannise wants room for both film and digital at the Paramount, but he adds that “there’s something about seeing those 35mm prints, knowing that there is real celluloid film moving through the light of the projector and throwing those images up on the screen; that is really special.”

The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series begins May 23 and continues through September 5. If you want to keep cool this summer and experience the magic of film, tickets are available now, with special discounts for viewers who join the Paramount’s Film Fan Club or by purchasing package deals with the Paramount’s Flix-Tix.

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