Theater

Cinemark Cedar Park

in
Address: 
1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, TX 78613

Cinemark Cedar Park has 12 screens, at least one of which can show 3-D movies, digital sound, and stadium seating. The theater primarily shows first-run movies.

The Independent at 501 Studios

Address: 
501 IH-35, Austin TX 78702
Phone: 
512-485-3001

501 Studios by Beard Papa on Flickr

The Independent is a multi-use performance venue that is part of the 501 Studios Soundstage. It hosts concerts as well as occasional special screenings. Slackerwood contributors have not yet been to this venue, and would love to hear your feedback/advice.

Parking: Street parking nearby.

Bus routes: #4 (at Brushy & E. 6th)

Distance: 501 is just across I-35 from downtown, but you might not want to walk in that area at night. You could potentially find a pedicab to give you a lift from downtown to the venue.

Food and Beverages: We don't know what (if anything) is available in the theater. Cross I-35 and head down Sixth Street for a variety of restaurant/bar choices.

Wireless: Unknown.

[Photo credit: "501 Studios" by Gideon Tsang. Found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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.]

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.]

Alamo Drafthouse -- Lake Creek

Address: 
13729 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78750
Phone: 
512-219-8135

Alamo Lake Creek communal area

Alamo Drafthouse at Lake Creek is part of the Alamo Drafthouse franchise of theaters. In 2010, all Alamo Drafthouses were united under one umbrella with Tim League as CEO, and efforts are ongoing to ensure all theaters offer high-quality film projection, food items, etc. The theater has seven screens and shows mainly first-run movies, with some special screenings and events. It's part of a large strip mall off Hwy 183, just south of Hwy 620, in a fairly suburban part of town.

Pros: You can order food, beer and wine from your seat. The lobby includes a gathering area with tables and chairs. It's nice to see a suburban strip-mall theater that doesn't show lots of commercials before the movie, or treat its audience members like cattle.

Cons: The theater is at the edge of Austin, close to Cedar Park, and is difficult to reach by bus. If you're visiting this theater for a film festival, don't expect to theater-hop: park it here for the evening.

Parking: Big parking lot, right out in front, although it does get a little crowded sometimes on weekends and you may have to park near the edges.

Bus routes: #383. You would need to take an Express bus, then a local bus. To/from downtown by mass transit could take well over an hour.

Distance: It's a 20-40 minute drive from here to downtown Austin, and at least a 10-minute drive to the Arbor, depending on traffic.

Food and Beverages: Alamo Lake Creek has a full menu of snacks, meals and drinks, similar to other Alamo Drafthouses. They pride themselves on an extensive beer menu. In the same strip mall, you'll find a Jason's Deli and a Rockin' Tomato. Drive south a little past Anderson Mill to Reale's for a slightly less casual (and quite yummy) pizza-and-Italian experience, or to Hoover's for some good home cooking and barbecue (and pie).

Wireless: You can find nearby wireless at Jason's Deli.

Galaxy Highland 10 Theatre

Address: 
6700 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin TX 78752
Phone: 
512-467-6165‎

Idiocracy.  Really.Galaxy Highland is owned by the Galaxy Theatres chain. It is a 10-screen theater near Highland Mall (what's left of it) that shows new releases. Austin Film Festival is using it as a venue in 2013.

Pros: It might not look like it, but this is one of the best theaters in Austin for consistently good projection and audio quality. One or two screens are a little dirty or dingy but the rest are in good shape. Unaccompanied minors are not allowed in the theater on weekend nights.

Cons: It gets very popular and crowded on weekend nights, and those audiences aren't always as quiet as local film geeks would like. We've heard a few reports of people getting their cars broken into, so ensure your valuables are out of sight.

Screens and Capacity: There are 10 theaters of various sizes. All movies are screened in digital projection, and one has a row of D-Box theater seats that move with special effects while you watch the movie.

The theater being used for Austin Film Festival 2013 seats 187.

Parking: Plenty of parking is available around the theater in a large surface lot.

Distance: This theater is not near downtown or any traditional film-festival venues -- you really need to drive to get here, or consult Cap Metro for the best bus routes. (It's nearly a mile to the Highland MetroRail station.)

On-site food and beverages: Standard movie-theater concessions, like candy and soft drinks. The popcorn has real butter on it.

Nearby dining options: The theater shares a parking lot with Shanghai, which has very good dim sum. Taj Palace is in the adjoining strip mall. Go down Airport toward Lamar for good Mediterranean food at Arpeggio Grill. On Airport in the other direction you can find Quality Seafood, Kome (sushi and ramen) and House Pizzeria. And you're not far from Threadgill's and Stiles Switch BBQ on North Lamar. The nearest coffeehouse is Kick Butt Coffee, where you can also have a sandwich or salad at lunchtime.

Pro tip: Bring a sweater or jacket, the theaters can get rather chilly.

[Photo credit: "Idiocracy. Really." by Laura Taylor. Found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills

Address: 
9828 Great Hills Trail Suite 800, Austin, TX 78759
Phone: 
512-231-9742

Shadow of the Jane Austen Universe

Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills is usually called the Arbor or Arbor Great Hills. It is part of the national Regal Theatres chain. The six-screen theater focuses on arthouse films and "big indies" like Sideways, Mamma Mia and 500 Days of Summer. For SXSW 2011, it's a "SXSatellite venue," catering to local filmgoers who want to avoid downtown crowds.

Pros: Comfy seats in roomy theaters. The lobby has some nice little gathering areas with tables and chairs. Good programming of indie/arthouse movies.

Cons: Except during film festivals, the Regal ad reel plays before all movies. TV monitors in the lobby play trailers and commercials, but usually aren't too intrusive. This theater has also had some audio problems in the past, such as speakers not working properly.

Screens and Capacity:  The Arbor has a total of eight screens with sloped (not stadium), with seating capacity ranging from 150-287.  One screen has a digital projector, and all screens have 35mm projectors. The theater used for SXSW will seat 175.

Mobility Impaired Access:  No stairs to worry about, and seating space is available in the back of the theater. You could move to the front but you would be very close to the screen. 

Parking: Plenty of parking is available in lots at the front and side of the theater.

Bus routes: #3, 383, 392, 982 & 983. The #383 bus goes between Arbor and Alamo Lake Creek, but it's a long and winding route.

Distance: The theater is in the middle of the Arboretum area of shopping, restaurants and hotels. It's a 15-30 minute drive to downtown, depending on traffic.

Food and Beverages: Arbor offers the usual movie-theater concessions. In the adjacent strip mall, you can find La Madeleine, Fire Bowl Cafe, Texadelphia, Elevation Burger and Pok-E-Joe's. Cross the street to the Arbor mall and enjoy Amy's Ice Cream as well as some other chain restaurants.

Wireless: No wireless in the theater, but you can walk around the nearby strip mall to La Madeleine, which offers wireless access.

CLOSED: Dobie Theatre (Landmark)

in
Address: 
2025 Guadalupe St., Austin TX 78705
Phone: 
512-472-FILM

IMG_0329

The Dobie Theatre closed in August 2010.

The Dobie Theatre is an unusual theater -- located within the Dobie building near campus, which is a big off-campus dorm with a mall on the lower floors. The Dobie is owned by Landmark Theatres, and it has four screens, each one decorated in an unusual way. The theater shows a combination of first-run movies and arthouse films.

Alamo Drafthouse -- Ritz

Address: 
320 East Sixth Street, Austin TX 78701
Phone: 
512-476-1320

SXSW 2008: Alamo Ritz

Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, aka Alamo Ritz, is a renovation of the old Ritz Theater in downtown Austin, built in 1929. The theater has two screens and shows a combination of first-run movies, arthouse films and the interestingly obscure. The Ritz often shows movies in 35mm and the larger theater is capable of screening in 70mm.

Pros: The location is ideal for downtown-based film festivals. The seats are comfy, and there are really no "bad seats" in either theater anymore. Most (non-fest) Alamo Ritz screenings now have reserved seating.

Cons: We wish both theaters were larger, especially during film fests when all the visitors want to hang out at an Alamo. If you're seeing a film-fest movie in the smaller theater, get there especially early ... it often fills up quickly. When you sit down at an Alamo theater, don't try to put an empty seat between yourself and the people next to you -- the waitstaff will ask you to move so seats can be consolidated if (when) the theater fills up.

Alamo Ritz tends to draw a somewhat rowdier crowd than the other Drafthouse locations -- don't be shy about raising a flag if your neighbors get too drinky and bothersome.

Screens and Capacity: The smaller theater seats 69 people; the larger one, 172. For film fests, the balconies in the larger theater are usually reserved for filmmakers or VIPs.

Parking: No Alamo Ritz-specific parking; park on the street or find a downtown lot/garage. St. David's parking garage is usually a good bet. If you're seeing a midnight movie and parking in a garage, make sure it will still be open after the movie ends.

Bus routes: All downtown routes.

Distance: Only three blocks from Congress Ave. You can easily walk to the Paramount, Austin Convention Center, Violet Crown, and many downtown hotels and restaurants. A cab stand is located on the southbound side of Congress and Sixth, a couple of blocks from the Paramount.

On-site food and beverages: Alamo Ritz offers a full menu for lunch and dinner, including an extensive beer menu and full bar. In addition, you can get standard movie-theater fare like popcorn and candy. (Please don't forget to tip if you order anything.) The coffee is exclusively French-press now (no drip).

Nearby dining options: Iron Cactus next door has pretty fair Tex-Mex. The Driskill Hotel's 1886 Cafe is fine for lunch, but not speedy. Jackalope across the street has great burgers. Or walk a little further to Easy Tiger, which has a ground-floor bakery where you can pick up a quick treat (get the pretzel), and a downstairs cafe/patio for tasty sausages and sandwiches. If price is not a primary consideration (or if it's happy hour), splurge on small plates or even a full meal at Parkside, about a block away.

Wireless: The Ritz has wireless in the lobby but the theater walls are so thick that it doesn't penetrate there very well. Sixth Street tends to have bars rather than coffeehouses -- walk to The Hideout on Congress, or try Halcyon on Fourth Street.

[Photo credit: Jette Kernion. All rights reserved (but if you ask and promise to credit, I'll probably let you use it).]

Alamo Drafthouse -- Village

Address: 
2700 W. Anderson Lane, Austin TX 78757
Phone: 
512-476-1320

At the newly renovated Alamo @drafthouse Village to see A Christmas Story

Alamo Drafthouse -- Village, aka Alamo Village, focuses on first-run movies with the occasional arthouse feature or special event. Alamo Village has 4K digital projection for all four screens, but can also show movies in 35mm. This is more of a "neighborhood theater" than the Alamo Drafthouses at Ritz or South Lamar.

Pros: Since it's an Alamo Drafthouse, you don't have to suffer through commercials before your movie. Parking is nearby. Like other Alamo Drafthouses, the theater has a serious "no talking/texting" policy during screenings. It's a good venue for film festivals if you're a local, because it almost never sells out.

Cons: This neighborhood theater gets very popular, especially nights/weekends. Buy your tickets in advance. All (non-fest) seating is reserved, so you can pick your seats online.

Screens and Capacity: Four theaters varying in size, all with Sony 4K digital but still capable of showing 35mm films. Lines for the movies may be inside the lobby or outside depending on the size of the crowds and the weather.

Parking: Alamo Village is part of a small strip mall with a parking lot. The lot gets crowded on nights and weekends (we used to tell you to drive around to the back, but the Goodnight has taken over that parking now).

Bus routes: The #5 and #19 have stops not far from the theater. You can also take a #3, but you'll have a little walk from Burnet Road.

Distance: Alamo Village is near Anderson Lane and Burnet Road, a good area for dining and shopping. It's at least 8 miles from downtown, so as a film festival venue, you can't get to downtown theaters easily -- it'll take you 15-45 minutes depending on traffic.

On-site dining options: All Alamo Drafthouses in Austin have a full menu including wine and beer. You can view the menu and current specials on the website, which also includes helpful hints on the ordering process, and information on gluten-free and vegetarian items. Don't hesitate to ask the waitstaff if you have special allergies or dietary needs.

Nearby dining options: This part of town has added lots of good dining options in the past few years. The strip mall that houses Village also includes Madam Mam's, a great Thai restaurant, Cover 3, an upscale sports bar with a fancy-ish menu, and Chen Z, where you can get house-made noodles and hot pot. Pho Thaison, in the strip mall adjacent to Village (closer to Burnet), is an inexpensive option for Vietnamese food. During the day, don't forget San Francisco Bakery, catty-corner to the theater, which has wonderful baked goods and a very tasty quiche. (It was also a location in the movie Artois the Goat.) Across the street, the Northcross shopping center offers Tarka, Elevation Burger, Phonatic and more.

And of course you can drive south on Burnet a few blocks and get a really cinematic meal at Top Notch.

Wireless: Free wireless is available in the lobby and theaters. San Francisco Bakery has wireless, and you'll find a Starbucks nearby, too, on Anderson a little closer to Mopac.

[Photo credit: "At the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse Village" by Mike Prosser. Found on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

Syndicate content