The Paramount Theatre is located in downtown Austin on the popular Congress Avenue. The theatre has stood on the street for nearly a hundred years and has a historic vibe. Before the building was turned into a theatre it was the legendary Sam Houston's office and the War Department of Texas. It eventually became a hotel and finally was turned into the Paramount Theater. Paramount was built in 1915 and is Austin's oldest theatre.
The history of the theatre permeates both the exterior and interior of the theatre. The historical architecture that is clearly seen on the outside of the Paramount flows in with warm red and light hardwood accents. The theatre showcases a mixture of European and traditional American architecture. The mix of old and new gives the theatre a fanciful feeling that attest to the historic prestige that the Paramount has.
Paramount Theater is often home to red carpet film premiers such as the ones that are hosted by the Austin Film Festival. The theatre is an integral part of the film, music, and performance scene in downtown Austin. All types of performances are held at the Paramount Theater. For example - music, spoken word, dance, drama and even children's programs bring thousands of visitors to the theatre each year. It is estimated that 200,000 people gain admission to enter the Paramount on an annual basis.
Paramount Theater has a youth outreach program with a mission of making theatre accessible to a broad audience of children. The program engages children throughout the whole region of Central Texas. Paramount's youth outreach program challenges children to see theatre as both entertaining and educational. The theatre community of Paramount attempts to produce students that are well-rounded, creative, empathetic, and more self confident. The six youth programs include Skinny's Gallery, School Matinee Performances, Camp Paramount, Literacy to Life, Youth Theatre Company, and a Teks program that emphasizes the school's curriculum through the use of drama techniques.
A second performance venue called the State Theatre sits adjacent to Paramount theatre and has undergone renovations since 2007. The State Theatre started reconstruction with plans to return as a working theatre venue - it has over seventy years of performance history. State is one of the cornerstones in the art district. In 2000, the Paramount and State theatre merged and formed the Austin Theatre Alliance. Both theaters are Austin's most commanding venues. The State Theatre also features its own school of acting which is affiliated with Austin Community College. The acting studios are located on the third floor of the theatre and provides students with the chance to learn various performance techniques. The school of acting prepares students by giving them a well-rounded educational environment to learn about the business aspect of the acting industry as well as have a place to learn and grow. Specialized classes include voice training, improvisation, and audition techniques.
Paramount Theater has been entertaining audiences for a long period of time and is incorporated as a non-profit organization. Paramount keeps its doors open by revenue earned through performances and donations.