Studio Movie Grill University Mall 14

12332 University Mall Court,
Tampa, FL 33612

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 61 comments

rivest266 on October 21, 2017 at 11:31 pm

December 13th, 1996 as well as the 1974 grand opening ads can be found in the photo section.

cvolosin on October 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

This weekend if you bring 2 can food items they are giving free movie tickets..

I just hope that they don’t tear the mall down around such a nice new investment… and as the area is just so nice I hope they don’t destroy it!

Mikeoaklandpark on October 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Please update status to OPEN

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on October 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Dallas based Studio Movie Grill has just opened an upscale 14-screen dinner-with-a-movie theatre in the former Frank Theatres space that has remained vacant since closing in January 2013. Although the location is questionable here’s hoping they can make it work.

Link to article with photo:

Mikeoaklandpark on June 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

I give them credit they keep trying to make this theater work

MovieMad52 on June 4, 2014 at 5:37 am

It was announced today that Studio Movie Grill will be taking over the theatre space left vacant by Frank Theatres in January, 2013. The next few months, renovation to fit the concept will happen. SMG plans to open 14 screens.

poohbini on April 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

The theater was a joke. One of the auditoriums downstairs was used as a church for a while. It smelled bad too. The mall is so far in debt that I don’t think any theater could make a go of it. When we moved at the end of Feb. it still had not been boarded up.

Surjay_Burton on January 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I happen to know for a fact that the most recent GM and his team did their best with that location, they promoted movies, created displays from scratch, and overall made it a great experience.

MovieMad52 on January 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Wow! Mike and Chuck. I worked for the Franks for 6 and a half years and my last assignment was University Mall 16. I was “laid off/ let go” in July because my payroll costs were not 8%. My replacement made $900 less a month and all he did was ‘babysit’ the location. I promoted the location with radio, had Spiderman running around the USF campus and the mall, Men in Black men walked the mall and that video is on U tube, merchant promotions with Blockbuster Comics, Chik-fi-la, Subway. USF students tended to stay away and go to Muvico where it was safer. This theatre should never have been reopened. I made recommendations to upgrade the theatre by taking down walls for larger theaters (most of the screens were too small and had complaints about), USF students $5 at all times which they did after I left. I also recommended that they take the JC Penny building and retrofit it. In the end, this theatre is history and a IRS write off.

Mikeoaklandpark on January 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

University mall being demolished how sad. I lvied in Tampa from 83-96 and that was the in mall to go to I worked at USF for 10 ½ of those years and it was a great place to go at lunch. Franks theaters have always been shady. I worked for the original owenrs in Atlantic City in the 70’s and Mr & MRs Franks were rude jerks.

cvolosin on January 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

Nick, I have a feeling that the mall/ or Frank probably was doing something illegal by filling the space, and pocketing something from the IRS.. The mall was probably writing off extra security expenses and hoping that the traffic (little as it was) would generate some holiday traffic…

I have a strange feeling that Frank had to know that they would be temporary.. Not one Digital Projector was installed you would have thought priority would have been get the 4 largest 400 seat theaters 3D capable for the movies last year! They basically turned the lights back on, and used duct tape and chewing gum to hold the ship together..

As much crap as they fed management about plans they probably didn’t know until about 2 weeks before.. I have been in situations before with CARMIKE that they tried to close my building 3 times and denied it when the DM called them on it. Saying they were coming to update computers, fix things etc.. But they would scratch their head when they saw the fact that I was making them money, they eventually went 100% digital and upgraded seating at this location after multiple attempts to close it.. And eventually promoted me to a 20 screen that I quickly learned I was drastically being underpaid to manage!

University 16 was under grossing $1 theaters at the end.. In this economy and with the grosses that location had made in the last 6 years no bank would have ever given them a loan to spend millions of $$ to retrofit and digitize, unless you have money buried in your back yard for a complete chain wide digital retrofit 2 years before anyone else..

Enough said.. I would love to get back in the business because insurance sales suck a$$ now due to Obama and commission rate cuts and that topic is another day another place! If anyone in Tampa or Orlando area is looking for a kick A$$ general manager let me know!


Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on January 14, 2013 at 5:57 am

Goodness! Frank Theatres barely lasted 10 months? There was some hope the reopening would eventually expand with several enhancements beginning with an upgrade to digital projection and later stadium seating which would hopefully have been the catalyst for a rebirth of the mall. Wonder if they even made the first priority upgrade to digital? Assuming the rumors are true concerning demolition—University Mall will soon be 39 years old come this November—an amazing feat as far as malls go these days. I’m sorry to see the theatres are history now. I have some good memories of the former University Square Cinemas I II III & IV.

wakethedead130 on January 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Hello all,

I was formerly one of the workers of Frank Theaters University 16. I would like to inform you that we are indeed closed. Our last movie played on Sunday, January 6. That night we were told to start cleaning the area and get it ready to be stripped. There were various things in which I can’t and probably won’t speak about that references the closing.

cvolosin on December 30, 2012 at 4:39 am

Hmm that would certainly put a hit on Raymond James Stadium, as the bulls have filled the seats more this season than the buc’s themselves.

I really began to wonder how sweet that deal was because if anyone did the math, it never would have added up in favor of any operator to spend a couple million to retrofit and digital an existing theater in a greedy mall that wants over $13 a square ft… On aprox 30,000 sq ft $390,000 a month and pull the financials of all the other operators I’m sure revenue was below 1.5mil a yr. attendance at a 6 screen dollar house in Bradenton consistently outnumbered it in attendance.

So will Frank be held to back rent? Or will frank pull a chapter 11 on the location and run? It’s not like they spent anything it was walk in ready and reopen! I don’t get up that way often, and would never pay any money to watch a movie there until renovations were made.

MovieMad52 on December 30, 2012 at 3:47 am

The continued operation is in question as the original agreement was for 12 months. Rent free. Rumor currently floating around is that Franks will leave after the holidays and the rest of the tenants as well. The rumor is that the mall will be torn down and a new USF Football Stadium will be built. Good deal for all around.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 4, 2012 at 3:45 am

Great Comments Nick, you are lucky it is open, a Murder and kipnap at REGENCY MALL in Augusta pretty much drove off the decent folks.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on March 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Appreciate the update Chuck—thanks! So I wonder if the plans are to completely gut the lower level or just a portion. The lower level contains the two original GCC larger cinemas so I hope the plans don’t include gutting these. The two enhancements are a must to survive since without digital and stadium seating there’s just no way they can keep it going so that’s good to hear. Prints left on platters and in cans…wow! I’ve always thought prints HAD to be returned to the distributor when the run was over. You’re right about Regal. Sounds like they were in a foul mood and simply locked the doors and that was it. I bet employees were not even aware until the last day of operation.

Mike, You wouldn’t believe the mall today. It was beautiful when it opened in ‘74…the largest in town at the time. Today it’s just amazing that it’s still open. I walked through the mall about a year ago and it was depressing to remember what once was and is no longer. Sears is the only remaining anchor aside from Dillard’s although the store is mainly a clearance center so not sure you could call it a true anchor tenant. But the enhancements coming to Frank Theatres may help to hopefully inspire other changes for the good.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I lived in TAmpa from 83-96 and worked at USF up the road from the mall and this was a great mall than. Wow what 16 years can do.

cvolosin on March 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Nick I actually talked with the new manager after the holidays, and he said that they are priority 1: Going 100% Digital, Priority 2:Stadium Seating in phases, and developing the lower level into either an arcade or bowling alley.. But the Digital upgrade was coming by May 2012. FYI Otherwize they inherited the headache of noone caring at regal because they were closing anyway. I guess there were several equipment issues, and major projection problems. I guess there was actually complete prints left on platters and in cans when they opened it up too.. so if this tells you what kind of mood Regal was in when they moved out I don’t know what will.

cvolosin on March 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Mike, Frank bought the whole Sunrise chain and got all their debt and rediculous lease agreements and couldn’t wait to close the under performers that were so far in debt noone wanted them.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on January 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

Well you never know Mike. If you guys had the funding and permission from the city I bet she’d jump at the chance to reopen Regency 8. Bet the clean-up cost alone would be staggering not to mention other major repairs. Then again just like University 16, the theatre is not located in the best part of town. Is Regency already outfitted w/stadium-seating?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Robin wanted me and her to reopen REGENCY,I think she was kidding. I think, Nick.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Our REGENCY 8 in augusta sits empty,Mold taken over inside,GCC just built it on the wrong side of town,,Great Intro NICK. you the best.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on January 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for the update Chuck! Finally some possible good news for this location. Had no idea that more high-end rennovations are in store for this venue. Evidently (from your description) the mall owners are greatly anticipating that Frank Theatres will eventually be the catalyst for a rebirth of University Mall. Cobb should have installed stadium seating when they did the add-on in the mid-90s so retrofitting is a must (if any theatre hopes to survive these days.) Unfortunately the one big drawback is the surrounding area. University Square Mall was certainly a “Destination Location” when it opened in 1974. I hope they can make it happen again.

cvolosin on January 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Nick, the building, and fixtures though 90’s pre-stadium, are turn-key for an operator that can get the right terms (RIGHT TERMS) being the catch. The mall has such high expectations I hope that Frank is RENT FREE till 2013 because if they expect to do the renovations I have heard, they will need every ounce of capital available to make it happen. If they were to make this a “Destination Location” offering a variety of venues such as a bowling and game room along with a Stadium retrofit theaters for the top 12 they would not loose significant seating due to the large size of the Auditorius as they currently exist (6 over 400 seats) they could loose 1000 seats and with attendance records at this location in the last few yrs noone would miss them. It would take a substantial amount of time to re-coup the investment required to compete with the modern stadium theaters around it!

as for converting to retail space noone would want 70K sq feet in a mall that already is missing one anchor and operates a Dillards that uses 1/3 of its sales floor and operates as a clearance store till its lease is up and can bail!