Austin Theater

2130 Congress Avenue South,
Austin, TX 78704

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austin theater 1

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The Austin Theater opened in 1939, and was the home of first run movies until the 1970’s. By the mid-1970’s, however, the theater and the surrounding area deteriorated and the Austin was eventually closed.

In 1977, the theater was sold to a new owner who turned it into an adult movie theater. With the new format, the theater’s name was changed to Cinema West and it continued to show XXX-rated movies until it finally closed in 1998, amid deep complaints from residents.

The property was then sold to a new group who plans to turn the theater into office space to meet increased demand from local high-tech companies.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Lauren
Lauren on January 16, 2004 at 12:40 pm

Is it still for sale and who could I contact about it? Thanks

ianumlauf
ianumlauf on February 2, 2004 at 5:59 pm

C.S.A. Realty Group in Austin (8305 Shoal Creek Blvd.) is overseeing the property. A gentleman by the name of Juan Creixell should be able to answer any questions you might have. I met with him in July (when the property was still available), and he was very helpful and knowledgable in terms of the history of the theater. His office number is (512)453-6566. I’m not sure, however, if the building is still vacant and up for sale.

cricket
cricket on March 19, 2004 at 11:54 am

Does anyone know of an outdoor theater in Austin, Texas?

LauraMcGuire
LauraMcGuire on October 15, 2004 at 4:19 pm

Anyone have any idea what corporation initially commissioned Mackie and Kamrath to construct the theater? Are M&K’s records housed anywhere in Houston?
thanks!

GypsyInt
GypsyInt on October 23, 2004 at 4:23 pm

Do any of you know if these old drive-in theaters are still for sale?

Patsy
Patsy on September 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

What is the status of the Texas Theatre today?

James
James on September 13, 2009 at 6:37 pm

The two photos dated 1950 are NOT the Austin Theater. The first is the State Theater, its currently owned by The Paramount & State Theater Company http://www.austintheatre.org The Walgreens next door to the State Theater moved to a less costly location, but the building is still there on the corner.

The second photo is the Texas Theater in Palestine TX, not Austin.

The Austin Theater located at 2130 S Congress Ave, Austin Texas is currently owned according to tax records by Austin Music Partners LLC.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 6, 2011 at 2:53 am

The finding aid to the Interstate Theatre Collection at the Dallas Public Library lists the Austin Theatre as designed in 1938 by the architectural firm of MacKie & Kamrath. The Austin is also listed in the finding aid to the Karl Kamrath Collection at the University of Texas in Austin. This aid also features brief biographies of Karl Kamrath and Fred MacKie.

joycets684
joycets684 on June 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

The Texas Theatre, on the Drag (guadalupe) across from the University of Texas became an Eckerds Drug store in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, and when CVS came in and took over the Austin Eckerd’s chain it became one of them. I was trying to comment on the Varsity Theatre on the Drag, down at 24th & Guad, and could not find a comment section there. I was in the Varsity during the great Memorial Day Flood of 1981. At that time I believe it had just opened the 2nd floor “twin theatre” version and a disney cartoon was showing (an old disney, not a recent one). When we left the roads were flooding.

rhemasman
rhemasman on November 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I was an usher at this theater when Mr. Hicks was manager.

Admission was 35¢ for children and 50¢ for adults. Hotdogs were 25¢…Charms suckers 10¢…Popcorn 15¢ and it had a balcony.

My brother and my cousins had so many good times there. The picture looks the same as when I was there.

The ticket booth was outside…from a ticket roll, no automation.

Where did those fun days go?

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