Texas Spirit Theater, Bullock Texas State History Museum

Address: 
1800 North Congress, Austin TX 78701

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

The Texas Spirit Theater is part of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. The theater shows Texas-themed documentaries, and occasionally hosts special screenings and film festivals. It is on the second floor of the museum.

Pros: Free garage parking (in the evenings), comfortable seating and a nice intimate theater experience. Also, you may take a certain odd enjoyment in walking through part of the museum after it closes to get to the theater.

Cons: 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: The theater seats about 220.

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.]