You know summer has arrived in Austin when it’s hot enough to smoke a brisket in open air, Barton Spring Pool is jam-packed with scantily clad heat-relief seekers, and movie lovers flock to the air-conditioned haven of Austin’s historic 106-year-old theater for some excellent classic films.
The Paramount Theatre’s Summer Classic Film Series, now in its impressive 46th year, returns to the screen Thursday, May 27, with a themed weekend of planes, trains, and … ocean liners movies, featuring such legendary paragons as Casablanca, John Candy and Steve Martin’s zany flick, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, (Those aren’t pillows!), the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business, and noir thriller Strangers on a Train.
In early June, the Paramount will showcase films celebrating their 50th anniversary. (That means these movies were made in 1971, for those of you who don’t already feel old enough.) They include touching May-December romance Harold and Maude, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, classic Larry McMurty adaption The Last Picture Show, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (golden ticket not included).
And the nonprofit theater will host a special weekend screening on Saturday, June 5 of Young Frankenstein in honor of recently passed screen star Cloris Leachman.
June also finds the Paramount heaping on a helping of hedonism with films Moulin Rouge and Marie Antoinette before ushering in a full week of Hitchcock films, including Notorious, Psycho (be prepared to not shower for a while after this viewing), To Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest.
And, obviously, the best way to follow up Hitchcock Week is with a Brando! Brando! Brando! event, featuring films Guys and Dolls, the must-see A Streetcar Named Desire (expect plenty of shouts of “Stella!”), and On the Waterfront.
Heroes of the Cinema hit the screen mid-June, with films including Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Batman, before the Paramount gets into a groove with its Let’s Dance-themed shows: West Side Story (fingers snaps encouraged), Swing Time, and The Red Shoes.
The Paramount will round out its June showings with 25-year-old classics of the silver screen: Fargo, Mission: Impossible, From Dusk till Dawn, and Romeo + Juliet.
While July films in the Paramount’s classic series will be announced June 22 and the remaining Summer Classic Film Series shows will be released July 20, the Paramount is giving movie fans a sneak peek at the first films of July. On July 3, it will host showings of The Watermelon Woman and the ultimate Fourth of July flick, Independence Day (Goldblum!!!!).
“It doesn’t really feel like a summer in Austin without the Paramount Summer Classic Film Series. That’s why we’re so excited to be bringing the annual tradition back this year in all its three-month-long glory,” says Paramount Theatre film programmer Stephen Jannise. “Right away, we’re giving you Hitchcock Week, special anniversary screenings of beloved favorites, new-to-you discoveries, and so much more. There’s something for everyone this month, and we’re just getting started!”
Traditions are important, but that’s no cause for recklessness. That’s why the Paramount is still requiring masks for all patrons 10 and older when they’re not eating or drinking in their seats. The theater has also limited its capacity, and is offering touchless ticketing and concessions.
Tickets are available for all June films at austintheatre.org/film, including regular admission, Film Fan admission, and bundled Flix-Tix discount tickets. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the box office at 512-474-1221.