IMAX Theatre, Bullock Texas History Museum

Address: 
1800 North Congress, Austin TX 78701
Phone: 
512-936-8746

Texas State History Museum, by J. Stephen Conn on Twitter

The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum hosts the only authentic IMAX theater in Austin. The theater usually shows museum-style documentaries on weekday mornings, then shows first-run movies on evenings and weekends, either in traditional format or in 3-D.

Pros: Free garage parking (in the evenings) and comfortable seating.

Cons: As a festival venue, it's sometimes problematic to watch a conventional indie on the oversize screen. No concessions, and you're not allowed to bring food/drink into the museum. (I don't think anyone polices that after hours, though, if you want to sneak a water bottle in your purse or bag.)

Screens and capacity: Unknown.

Parking: You can park in the museum's parking garage (18th at Congress) after 6 pm for free. At other times, garage parking is $6 prepaid. Metered street parking is also available nearby.

Bus routes: The nearest bus stop is across the street, but it serves limited service routes -- the problem is that the Capitol is right in the middle of the direct path to downtown. Walk east to San Jacinto and take the #7, or west to Guadalupe for any low-number bus or the 101.

Distance: The theater is fairly close to downtown -- a cheap cab ride or a short ride on the bus can get you to downtown hotels and theaters. It's a pretty long walk, however. You can walk to The University of Texas campus.

Food and Beverages: The museum prohibits food and beverages in the theater. Head to Guadalupe and Lavaca for better luck: Texas Chili Parlor (1409 Lavaca) has a reputation for some of the best margaritas in town (not to mention their chili), and Scholz Garten is a great place to hang out after a screening.

Wireless: Unlikely. Walk over to Guadalupe and find a cafe or restaurant -- you're so close to the UT campus that just about every place has wireless.

[Photo credit: "Texas State History Museum," by J. Stephen Conn. Found on Twitter, used under Creative Commons license.]