Your Turn: Favorite Paramount Stories

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Air S** at the Paramount

It's Memorial Day, and what a gorgeous day it is. A perfect day to be outside. Yet we'll probably all be in theaters anyway -- or maybe the Mondo Tees rummage sale over at Alamo South Lamar. At any rate, I'm taking the day off from writing.

So it's your turn. Please take a minute and post to the comments section of this entry. Share your favorite story or amusing anecdote about a memorable experience you've had at the Paramount Theatre here in Austin. Movie-related stories are best, but anything entertaining related to the historic theater is welcome.

I've already told my favorite Paramount story, about the time I saw Ann Richards at a screening of Blood Simple during Austin Film Festival. Surely you all can top that? Let's hear 'em. And if you've already written your story elsewhere, as I did, feel free to post a link -- links to photos are fine, too.

The year was 1998....

Or 1997?

I forget.

But, anyway, Gary Ross had brought Pleasantville for an early screening during the AFF (at the time still known as the Austin Heart of Film, if I'm not mistaken, but I might be).

The Paramount was packed for a film with cult faves (William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh) and a couple of newcomers (Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon). The mood was great. And then--the film broke.

I heard later that Gary Ross was pacing in agony, worrying about the reception to his film, and once that happened, he was ready to pull it, just send everybody home. Ah, the agonies of the creative process. But cooler heads prevailed, the film came back on and repeated about five minutes and--

When it got to a particularly memorable line--

The audience shouted along with the actor.

Rocky Horror meets Pleasantville.

I think, at that moment, Gary realized, we liked it, we really liked it.

And this story would rock a lot more if I actually remembered the line.

I remember that!

I was there too. I think they asked us if we wanted to wait or to go home, and we all agreed enthusiastically that we wanted to see the rest of the film, even if there was some repeat. I don't remember the line, either, but I remember that the audience was crazy in love with the movie.