Stateside at the Paramount

719 Congress, Austin, 78701, 512/472-5470
The vertical marquee with its candy-colored neon recall the earlier life of this Congress Avenue facility as a showplace for movies, but inside the building signals that the State of the 21st century is a home for live performance. The State Theater Company – formerly Live Oak Theatre – laid claim to the long-empty space in the mid-Nineties and ever since has been working to transform it into a modern performing arts theatre. As of spring 1999, they've done it, adding an impressive gem to the city's theatrical treasures. Architect Sinclair Black has capitalized on the building's roominess with great expanses of air and light recall the big sky of the Lone Star State itself, but used the space's narrowness to preserve its intimacy. It's now a charming place to watch the State's professional actors work their magic on some 20th-century classic or the latest in Texas drama.

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