Tampa Theatre

711 Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33672

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Showing 76 - 100 of 169 comments

CelluloidHero2 on January 1, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Here are some exterior and interior photos I took of the Tampa Theater.

View link

Patsy on September 27, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Yes, the fist! Thanks as it was great to see that particular fist photo.

allerj on September 27, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Here is a link to the flickr set. Of course me being on the board of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, I shamelessly plug it and show the photo gallery there first. but if you have problems viewing it, here is the link directly to flickr

View link

Patsy on September 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Not sure if this is correct, but when I tried to view the flickr/eye-fi.cfm site it came up “international gay and lesbian film fesival”.

Patsy on September 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm

TIGLFF: Thanks for featuring the Ebersons family crest! I was at this theatre last Feb. for an organ concert and tour though I didn’t notice the crests or have them pointed out to me.

allerj on September 27, 2008 at 12:40 pm


Here I’ve circled where the crests appear.

allerj on September 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Hi everyone. I’m the new technology chair for TIGLFF. We had a volunteer training today at the Tampa Theatre and I took time afterwards to get some great pictures of art around this grand building. Ebersons family crest can be fond on either side of the stage above the statues. I put a ladder on the stage today to get a close up shot of one of them. Here is a link to the pictures I took today.


MPol on September 15, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Looks like a cool, cool theatre, both inside and out. Love the Marquee on the outside front, too, especially at night. Oh, how I wish there were more movie palaces left here in Boston and the United States generally.

Historic Theatres in Tampa
Historic Theatres in Tampa on August 31, 2008 at 9:32 am

Please provide any stories or information that you might have about this theatre (or any single-screen theatre in Tampa) here… http://historictheatresintampa.blogspot.com
This will assist us in preserving the history surrounding these theatres in Tampa. Thank you!!

Patsy on April 19, 2008 at 9:43 am

Lost: The marquee photo is impressive, but even more impressive when seen in person! Looking straight up at it from the sidewalk is awesome!

Patsy on February 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Just returned from Tampa FL and rec’d a wonderful tour prior to the Buster Keaton silent film concert with organist Rosa Rio who, by the way, is 105 years young! The theatre is truly an Eberson “gem” in downtown Tampa!

Patsy on January 5, 2008 at 7:07 am

Thanks…I did check out the theatre’s website and clicked on tours so hopefully a tour will work out while in Tampa….sure hope so! I plan to give them a call.

HowardBHaas on January 4, 2008 at 7:19 pm

you should look at the theater’s website, linked above, which says Tours usually 2ce a month on Wednesday & Saturday. Next month’s tour schedule not posted yet.

For this month & Feb, website shows screenings of West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Singin in the Rain, Cabaret, An American in Paris, a double feature of Buster Keaton silent films (there’s a Wurlitzer organ), and current movies such as Atonement. Projection equipment doesn’t include 70 mm.

Patsy on January 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm

HowardBHaas: Thanks for posting the interesting article. I plan to be in FL in early Feb. and will include a tour of this theatre! Are tours given?

HowardBHaas on January 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Tampa Tribune (Florida)
December 22, 2007 Saturday

Still Star-Struck At 80

By Kurt Loft, The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA – Our city has its share of movie houses, concert halls and
auditoriums, but it covets one above all, a magical place where history drifts like a
ghost and a starlit sky twinkles above our heads.

The Tampa Theatre is more than a landmark. It is part of the city’s body and
being, a breathing remnant of the past that refuses to fade or lose its
luster. For in this lavishly appointed palace, time moves in all directions, and
visitors slip enchanted into another era.

Tampa rightly takes pride in its prize in the heart of downtown, a
1,450-seat theater built more than 80 years ago and now on the National Register of
Historic Places. Nothing like it exists here, a mixed-breed of Italian
Renaissance, Byzantine, Mediterranean, Spanish, Greek Revival and English Tudor.
Gleaming marble floors and palazzo tile add touches of regal weight.

Defending the premises are mythological figures standing in alcoves around
the proscenium, and exotic beasts, gargoyles and birds hide among darkened
nooks and crannies. On any given night the Mighty Wurlitzer organ – a staple
during the age of silent film – pops up through the center of the stage.

Designed by architect John Eberson and built for $1.2 million, the theater
was Tampa’s first “air-cooled” building when it opened on Oct. 15, 1926,
featuring the silent film “Ace of Cads” for 25 cents. Today, the theater offers
more than 700 films and other events each year in an ideal marriage of form and

“What’s important is the programming the theater does,” says Art Keeble,
director of the Arts Council of Tampa-Hillsborough County. “You can see great
movies and concerts, get married there, go to wine tastings. And while you go
for the event, once you walk in you’re struck by the beauty of the place. It’s
the heart of the cultural district.”

That heart nearly was ripped out by indifference and neglect. By the 1960s,
more and more people were leaving Tampa proper for the suburbs, and soon new
malls and multiplexes stole business from downtown.
With lost revenue, the historic theater fell into decay, leaving little
budget for sufficient maintenance. Termites and rust replaced Gable and Garbo,
and a final act loomed: the wrecking ball.

The mere suggestion that anyone would raze the place sends tingles down the
back of Randi Whiddon, president of the Tampa Theatre Restoration Society and
an architect with Urban Studios.

“People have taken down some amazing buildings that are part of our history,
but this is a real Tampa icon,” she says. “It’s full of unbelievable detail
and workmanship. There are only a handful of theaters out there with this
kind of feel.”

Florida State Theaters, which owned the building at the time, bailed out by
selling it for $1 to the city of Tampa. Local politicians, in particular City
Councilman Lee Duncan, realized the potential of the theater and worked on a
preservation plan with the arts council.

In 1977, the theater reopened as a quasi-nonprofit film and special events
center, and the next year was named to the National Register of Historic
Places. It was declared a Tampa landmark in 1988. A fundraising effort in the
1990s injected $1.5 million in much-needed restoration work.

Today, the theater is regarded as one of the country’s best preserved
examples of grand movie palace architecture, and each year more than 135,000 people
attend its classic film series, concerts and social events.

To accommodate the crowds and preserve the theater’s charm, management keeps
restoration on the front burner. Nobody seems to mind.

“The day-to-day care and love takes a lot of work and money,” says Tara
Schroeder, a theater spokeswoman. “But I’m privileged to work here. I feel like
we’re stewards of a community treasure.”

Reporter Kurt Loft.

Patsy on November 2, 2007 at 10:03 am

I didn’t get to Akron OH this summer to see their atmospheric, but do plan to see this atmospheric in March.

Patsy on October 16, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Sure would be nice if every major city in the USA was as fortunate as Tampa to have this Eberson atmospheric theatre. The photos on Cinema Tours are always fun to view again and again! I’m sure it is mentioned in a previous post, but did this theatre have an orchestra pit in its past? So many did and then they were removed for various reasons.

Patsy on October 16, 2007 at 1:31 pm

“Eberson’s magic lives on” with this one! Hope to see it, in person, someday!

Roloff on October 8, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Amazing theatre, wish I was on that side of Florida too last january. The organ grill reminds me of the one at the Olympia (Gusman) in Miami, although that one is less Baroque (or almost Rococo as the whole mash of European styles seems to be in these palaces – no disrespect to Ebersons choices and designs of course).
For a more detailed look at the postcard at the top of this page, see my scan on my Flickr stream: View link
So of who are the other statues on the grill?

Patsy on August 20, 2007 at 7:25 pm

“Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate "movie palaces”, the Tampa Theatre today is a fiercely protected and generously supported landmark.“ Perhaps the Cayuga County Arts Council should read this since their Auburn Schine is an Eberson, too!

Patsy on August 20, 2007 at 7:22 pm

Lost Memory: Your October 3, 2005 photos are wonderful, too.

Patsy on August 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm

http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=6760 This photo site is worth posting again as the photos are spectacular especially the ticket kios photo.

Patsy on August 20, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Lost Memory: These photos are wonderful. I plan to be in FL next March so will check out this theatre then.

Patsy on July 9, 2007 at 12:28 pm

brianinboca: If you drive from Boca Raton to Tamps 6-8 times a year to see movies at the Tampa Theatre that tells me it’s worth the trip!