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Excitement Grows For President Obama's Austin Speech
Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 06:04 PM CDT
Hundreds of Austinites waited in line overnight to get a free ticket to see President Barack Obama on Thursday.
A Paramount Theatre spokesperson says that to their knowledge there has never been a standing president speak at the theatre before. It's been open since 1915.
The buzz usually around Congress Avenue usually surrounds movies, plays and comedians. But now it's become like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Only the sweet treats are tickets to hear Obama's speech.
"This is the golden ticket. Yes, I am telling you, in fact it has gold on it. The presidential seal," said Belinda Matingou, who waited in line for three hours. "I left Round Rock at 6 o'clock in the morning so I could be there around 6:30 a.m. and we were already wrapped around the building."
She got not one, but two tickets. She was granted an extra for her disabled brother who suffers from a rare neurological disorder.
"He succumbed to an illness about a year and a half ago, which has left him paralyzed in a wheelchair," said Matingou.
We're told the Paramount Theatre seats 1,295 people.
Some of the lucky ones say they waited overnight just to be a part of history.
"I feel like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said one man who got a ticket.
Others did it to hear about the economy -- the topic for the event.
One man from Australia said, "I want to find out about the American economy."
Still two days away from the actually event, excitement has already started.
Matingou is holding her tickets close until Thursday.
It's a speech that is a dream come true for her and her brother.
"He has a lot of issues going on, so this is going to be something he is able to think about, and talk about for a very long time," said Matingou.
Doors to the event Thursday open at 9:45 a.m. The speech is scheduled for noon.
Streets near the event will be blocked off.
APD will not release specific road closures.