One of the signature Austin movie chains, the Alamo Drafthouse's mixture of food, beer and great movies has left a definitive footprint on the developing Austin movie scene. CEO Tim League has always been looking for ways to bring new and exciting films to audiences (along with weekly screenings of classic films), and the company’s newly founded distribution wing, Drafthouse Films, has been putting some interesting, quality films on screens across the country. There are nearly half a dozen Drafthouses in Austin, but the best location is on South Lamar (1120 South Lamar Boulevard), where Fantastic Fest is held annually, and the newly constructed Slaughter Lane (5701 West Slaughter Lane) location is a marvel, both for its creative design and its custom-made cocktail lounge.
The Paramount is one of the oldest theaters in Austin, and the sheer amount of history in the 1,300-seat theater never fails to impress. Events like South By Southwest and Austin Film Festival frequently choose the Paramount for their showcase exhibitions, and the theater also hosts an annual summer movie series that’s packed with iconic classics and underappreciated gems.
Violet Crown is fairly new to Austin, having been open just over a year. Even so, the theater is a frequent exhibitor of art house cinema and a reliable source of films that stray far from the beaten path. The Crown is also notorious for its insanely comfortable seating, and the theater’s artsy aesthetic, trendy downtown setting and eclectic programming make it an essential date location. Major bonus: free valet parking with ticket purchase.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
The most impressive theater in Austin is easily the Bob Bullock, which boasts the city’s only genuine IMAX screen and is also only a short walk from campus. The exhibition is consistently flawless, and visual feasts like “Prometheus” and “The Dark Knight Rises” can only benefit from being blown up to such a massive scale.