Best Theaters in Austin, Texas

From mainstream to fringe performance art, theater enthusiasts have plenty of choices on Austin’s program.

Marcus Cagleby Marcus Cagle
Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images.

Austin may not be known for its artistic forte, but this city is a low-key hub of creative culture. Whether you prefer the silver screen or the authenticity of a traditional theater setting, Austin has the goods.

From mainstream to fringe performance art, theater enthusiasts have plenty of choices on Austin’s program. Want to learn more? Here are some of the best theaters in Austin, Texas:

1. Moviehouse and Eatery

Moviehouse and Eatery

Photo: Yelp

Based on the famous dual theater-bars in Los Angeles, the Moviehouse and Eatery is a place to enjoy some of Austin’s best food and awesome theater all in one place! yAlthough there are plenty of Disney movies on the program, this sort of venue is mostly for adults, as alcohol is served in the theatre and the whole ambiance is a bit more high-end than what most children can appreciate.

Moviehouse and Eatery Seats

Photo: Yelp

In addition to the visual allure, the chairs inside the Moviehouse are designed to match the comfort of a high-class home recliner.  Patrons have more foot room and overall space compared to other theaters, offering a unique leisurely experience.

2. Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre

Photo: Yelp

The Paramount Theatre is mostly known for their throwback movies and double features. If you’re a fan of the classics, this spot lets you really get your money’s worth! Although this theater attracts a diverse viewership, most of the films are geared toward the Tarantino and SXSW crowd.

3. Bullock Museum IMAX Theatre

Imax Theater Austin

Photo: Yelp

The Bullock Museum IMAX Theatre is mostly known for their giant IMAX experience. It’s the largest IMAX screen in all of Texas, which is a pretty big thing to boast, considering things are already bigger in Texas.

4. Stateside Theatre @ the Paramount

stateside theatre

Photo: Pinterest

The Stateside Theatre @ the Paramount is a smaller and much more intimate venue compared to the aforementioned Paramount Theatre. Although they carry a similar billing, they offer completely different entertainment cultures.

The Stateside Theatre @ the Paramount focuses on lower-budget indie films and road shows, so it naturally attracts a more artistic and eclectic crowd.  If you’re the type that prefers a break from the mainstream, then there’s no better way to spend your weekend nights than at the Stateside Theatre.

5. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

Photo: Yelp

The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In is the definition of an old-school drive in experience. The theater itself is located in the middle of nowhere, bringing back that “alone in the car” vibe from the 1960s and 70s. The remoteness adds to the ambiance not so much because of the community it attracts, but because of the true darkness surrounding the cars and projection, which makes the movies visually stand out compared to a normal viewing experience.

If you want, The Blue Starlight allows guests to bring their own sleeping bags and blankets, and there is plenty of space to stretch out and watch the screen however (and wherever) you want. The prices are also low compared to other venues, so even budget-minded film lovers can enjoy a memorable viewing experience.

6. Bass Concert Hall/Texas Performing Arts Center

Bass Concert Hall

Photo: Yelp

If you are looking for live performing arts, the Texas Performing Arts Center is the place to visit. With shows like Disney’s Newsies, The Book of Mormon and Motown – The Musical, there’s something for everyone. Tickets can be a bit pricier because of the extravagance of production, but it’s well worth the cost, especially if you’re a theatre buff.

Austin has many claims to fame, from the bustling city life to gourmet dining, and their entertainment scene is no exception. Austin’s creative culture is vast and expanding, and their theaters really boast the core of Austin’s nature — there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, be sure to make the time to sample some of Austin’s best theaters.