Quick Snaps: Live Camels at the Paramount


DSC_0299 by The Paramount Theatre, on Flickr

The Paramount Theatre has been hosting all kinds of fun extra events this summer to accompany their Summer Classic Film Series: live performances, special treats, contests -- even manicures (Breakfast at Tiffany's, natch). But the downtown theater outdid itself last Thursday night for the film series' closing-night party before a screening of Lawrence of Arabia: actual camels outside the theater.

According to the Paramount's Executive Director, Ken Stein, the theater procured the noble beasts from Texas Camel Corps. (I was wondering where one found camels in Austin, even during drought conditions.) Stein noted on his blog that a few protesters parked a van proclaiming "animal cruelty" nearby. However, judging from the Paramount's Flickr set, the camels were popular with theatergoers, ushers and anyone who walked down that section of Congress Ave. at the time. Apparently there were belly dancers too, but I couldn't find any photos of that particular attraction.

Although the Summer Classic Film Series is over for 2009, the Paramount often shows movies during times when few live performances are scheduled, such as the Thankgiving and December holidays. The theater will also be a venue for splashy premieres and big-name films this fall at Fantastic Fest and Austin Film Festival.

I've got a couple more photos to show you after the jump:

Here's a close-up of one of the camels:

DSC_0266 by The Paramount Theatre, on Flickr

I believe this is Ken Stein in the blazer:

DSC_0306 by The Paramount Theatre, on Flickr

Thanks again to the Paramount for giving us permission to publish the lovely, camel-rific pictures from the evening that we found in their Flickr set.

Color this Master Naturalist impressed!

Wow - I read up on the Texas Camel Corps, well skimmed the info on the web site and blog. For someone who boycotts circuses, I'm amazed at the work this group does.

Not only does the Texas Camel Corps conduct TEKS-derived interpretative presentations on natural science, social studies, and such with these animals, but they also conduct a program for "at-risk" youth. They've created curriculum for VisionQuest, a national placement agency for at-risk youth. For ten days each month, the founder instructs a dozen youth in camel handling and takes them on a 3-day CamelQuest.

The blog is pretty amazing, from a Heifer International benefit, to traveling through Egypt and delivering gently used laptops to folks. At the heart it's all about education.