’Tis the season to deck the halls, trim the tree, and merrily gather to celebrate the holiday spirit. Oh, wait. This is 2020, and for obvious reasons, holiday traditions look a bit different this year. But that’s no reason to give them the cold shoulder.
One of Austin’s favorite December customs is back — the Paramount Theatre’s Holiday Film Series — and it promises to be “the cinematic equivalent of a hot-cocoa-fueled winter retreat,” albeit an updated version with new health and safety measures in place.
The Paramount’s holiday film festivities, presented by Capital Metro, kick off December 6 with Elf, followed by definitive holiday classic A Christmas Story on December 7. (That frozen-tongue scene never gets old!)
Of course, it’s not the holidays without Clark W. Griswold and fam, and the Paramount doesn’t disappoint, showing National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation December 10. It’s the perfect antidote to the COVID-driven holiday blues. And December 13, Tom Hanks’ magical train takes to the screen in The Polar Express.
The week before the Christmas holiday is the ideal time to “Bing” in the season with arguably the best dang Christmas musical around, White Christmas, which the Paramount will show December 16, 17, and 18.
Romantic comedy Love Actually lights up the Paramount screen December 19, followed by the quintessential Christmas masterpiece, It’s a Wonderful Life, airing December 20.
While nothing competes with viewing a holiday film on the big screen, gathering in an enclosed theater these days certainly presents its challenges, so the Paramount has implemented safety measures in an effort to keep patrons healthy this holiday season. Masks are required for all guests 10 and older, all tickets are digital or print-at-home versions, arrival times are staggered to encourage a socially distant environment, and capacity is limited to 25 percent, with socially distanced seating.
Additionally, touchless temperature checks are provided for all patrons and Paramount staff, a healthcare professional is onsite for all showings, the theater is sanitized prior to every film showing, and the Paramount has instituted a clear-bag policy to minimize the contact associated with bag searches.
To purchase tickets and learn more about the Paramount’s Holiday Film Series and safety measures, visit austintheatre.org.