Paramount News

Austin's classic downtown theater reopens for first time in 6 months for fall film series

Austin's classic downtown theater reopens for first time in 6 months

Paramount Theatre marquee movie series
The Classic Film Series is back. Paramount Theatre/Facebook

The Paramount Theatre's classic summer film series may be a classic fall film series this year, but the good news is — it's back. Beginning Friday, September 11, the Classic Film Series presented by Capital Metro returns for its 45th year — and the century-old downtown theater reopens for the first time in six months.

New procedures and policies
Of course, the reopening comes with changes, notably a 25-percent capacity cap to maintain social distancing measures and a mask requirement for all patrons ages 10 and up.

Additionally, the theater is enacting a series of changes to help keep the experience as "touchless" as possible for both patrons and staff, such as: 

  • Clear bag policy
  • Socially distanced seat map
  • Touchless ticketing
  • Contactless concession stands
  • Temperature checks for all patrons and staff

The Paramount will also be staggering entrance times to ensure proper spacing and says it will have a healthcare professional on site for each event. Sanitation procedures — including fogging — will take place before each film screening. 

Classic Film Series returns
This year's film series runs the gamut, featuring old-school films like Lawrence of Arabia, The Sound of Music, and The Birds, to more recent classics like Do the Right Thing, A League of Their Own, Love and Basketball, The Big Lebowski, and Selena

This year's lineup, notes a release, has been curated to include "a number of timely choices in this delayed season."

Kicking off the series on September 11 and 12 is the traditional screening of Casablanca, followed by showings of Do the Right Thing and Cabaret on September 13.

Peppered throughout the Classic Film Series' four-week run are special events, such as Hitchcock Week (October 5-11), and thematic lineups like Women Make Film (September 30- October 3), which offers screenings of A League of Their Own, Love and Basketball, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Merrily We Go Along, and Playing the Hits (September 14-20), which screens cult classics Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, The Goonies, Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, and Jaws

Other can't-miss movies include Purple Rain on September 25, Devil in a Blue Dress on September 28, and Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen October 4. The series concludes with The Sound of Music on October 10-11. See the full lineup here, and note that the schedule is subject to change.

Tickets for all films go on sale beginning Tuesday, September 8. To purchase tickets and read the full safety measures, visit