HOME
TheInfoList



The Paramount Theatre is a live theatre venue/
movie theatre . The picture the projector is displaying is the 1997 Universal Pictures Logo. A movie theater (American English), cinema (British English), or cinema hall (Indian English), also known as a picture house, the pictures, picture theatre, or the ...
located in downtown
Austin, Texas Austin (, ) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas, as well as the seat and largest city of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most populous cit ...
. The
classical revival Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the Neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century in Italy and France which then became one the most prominent and iconic architectural styles in the Western World. The d ...
style structure was built in 1915. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on June 23, 1976. In the Paramount's 100-year history, it has played host to a wide variety of acts ranging from
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a dramatic composition or ...
, musicals, legitimate theater, and movies, including premieres of such films as 1966's ''
Batman Batman is a superhero who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and debuted in the 27th issue of the comic book ''Detective Comics'' on March 30, 1939. In the DC ...
''.


History

The four-story theater was built by Ernest Nalle, who commissioned architect
John Eberson John Adolph Emil Eberson (January 2, 1875 – March 5, 1954) was a European born American architect best known for the development and promotion of movie palace designs in the atmospheric theatre style. Life and career John Adolf Emil Eberson was b ...
to design the building in January 1915. The theater opened under the name "The Majestic" on October 11, 1915 and hosted various
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a theatrical genre of variety entertainment born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a dramatic composition or ...
performers including the
Marx Brothers The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act that was successful in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in motion pictures from 1905 to 1949. Five of the Marx Brothers' thirteen feature films were selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) ...
. In 1930, the theater was purchased by
Karl Hoblitzelle Karl Hoblitzelle (October 22, 1879 – March 8, 1967) was an American theater owner, real estate investor, and philanthropist. He was the co-founder of the Interstate Theaters Company, a chain of vaudeville theaters (later movie theaters), now a su ...
, who renamed it to the "Paramount Theatre" and added carpeting, upholstered seating, and the addition of a giant lighted blade sign reading "Paramount". In 1941, the theater was purchased by the Margaret Reed Estate. In November 1963, the building's facade received a renovation. The renovation included the removal and reprogramming of the signature blade sign. However, the sign was never re-installed and its fate was never revealed. By the 1970s, the popularity of television and suburban movie theaters led to a decline in theater attendance. In 1975, proprietors John M. Bernardoni, Charles Eckerman, and Stephen L. Scott formed a nonprofit group to restore the building, which was in deteriorating condition. Local philanthropist Roberta Crenshaw, who owned a 50% stake in the building through her late husband's estate, donated her half of the trust to the nonprofit, meanwhile, the other half of the trust offered a 99-year lease. In 1976, the theater's listing on the National Register of Historic Places qualified the venue for federal restoration funds. Renovations began in September 1977 following a $1.85 million grant from the federal government, which was also used to spur economic development in Downtown Austin. In 2015, the theater embarked on an effort to recreate the signature blade sign that was lost in 1963. Since there were no known architectural or engineering plans for the original sign, the designers analyzed old footage of the theatre that included the sign. On September 23, 2015, the blade sign was lit for the first time in over 50 years.


Gallery

File:Paramount Theater - Austin, Texas - DSC08308.jpg, Paramount Theatre in 2015 File:Paramount Theatre Austin TX (877324112).jpg, Marquee sign detail File:One of three architectural elements above the Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, Texas LCCN2014632643.tif, Architectural elements File:P071014CK-0099 (14992504778).jpg, President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the theatre in 2014


References


External links


Paramount Theatre History
Cinemas and movie theaters in Texas City of Austin Historic Landmarks Theatres in Texas Culture of Austin, Texas Buildings and structures in Austin, Texas Theatres completed in 1915 Theatres on the National Register of Historic Places in Texas National Register of Historic Places in Austin, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks {{US-theat-struct-stub