Tampa Theatre

711 Franklin Street,
Tampa, FL 33672

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Showing 1 - 25 of 155 comments

Mikeoaklandpark on May 7, 2014 at 5:27 am

Wow that is great. Long live the Tampa theater. Thanks Nick.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 6, 2014 at 7:29 am

A new professional theatre screen with adjustable top and side masking was installed around 4 years ago. I don’t believe this screen was replaced for the digital conversion last year since it was still relatively new. The digital conversion includes a Christie CP-2220 Digital Cinema System and 5.1 Surround Sound with new laser driven speakers behind the screen. The image and audio are now greatly enhanced.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

That is wonderful. I miss that theater so much. So glad it’s alive and doing well. When I lived there from 83-96 the screen actually rolled up like a shade. They had no side masking. The curtains were used in place of the masking for films that were flat. With that said did they get a new screen and masking since I left 18 years ago?

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

Mike, They don’t use any slides at all. The curtains are closed before each showing begins. 30 minutes prior to the showing the Wurlitzer organ rises up on stage and the organist treats the audience to several tunes. At showtime the organ recedes down into the stage (usually to thunderous audience applause) and the lights are dimmed. When the image hits the screen the curtains begin opening. At the end of the showing they are closed again.

The proper screen masking is also used for each showing. For Scope presentations, following the previews, the top masking drops down slightly and the side maskings open fully once the “Feature Presentation” title card appears onscreen. For last Sunday’s showing of “Wizard of Oz” (filmed in the old 1.33 ratio) the side maskings closed a few extra feet inward to the edges of the image once the film began.

True showmanship is alive and well at the Tampa Theatre! And I’m happy to say the Sunday afternoon showings are near sell-outs every week so arriving early for a good seat is a must.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 4, 2014 at 7:10 am

Nick do they still use the curtains or have they gone like most with the slides?

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

Mike, They went digital in April 2013 although they’re retaining the 35mm projectors. I’m guessing all the above films will be digital with possible exception of The Black Pirate which is silent. Below is a comment posted last year by Tampa Theatre on the installation of digital equipment:

Tampa Theatre

Just to be clear – we’re not switching… we’re ADDING! The 35mm projectors aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll still be used for certain archival films.

19 April 4, 2013

Mikeoaklandpark on May 2, 2014 at 5:27 am

N ick have they gone digital?

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on May 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

Tampa Theatre has just announced the line-up for this years Summer Classics Film Series. Showings are Sundays at 3:00 with an additional showing of Mary Poppins and Casablanca on Saturdays at 3:00.

2001: A Space Odyssey (June 1) To Kill A Mockingbird (June 8) Saturday Night Fever (June 15) Sing-Along Mary Poppins (June 21-22) Raiders of the Lost Ark (June 29) North By Northwest (July 6) The Gay Divorcee (July 13) Lawrence of Arabia (July 20) Blazing Saddles (July 27) Dirty Dancing (August 3) Citizen Kane (August 10) Casablanca (August 16-17) The Black Pirate (August 24)

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on August 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Tinseltoes, I knew about the film being shot in the Tampa area but just realized I didn’t mention it in my post. I had also forgotten that during this period the Tampa Theatre was in the midst of it’s downward spiral and had already been playing 2nd run double features as well as blaxploitation films. So in hindsight I guess it’s not surprising at all that the film had it’s premiere at the Tampa Theatre.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on August 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

Thanks for posting this article Tinseltoes! I had almost forgotten about this film and the local premiere (matter of fact I’m probably standing somewhere in that crowd.) I remember seeing Terry Moore being escorted from the limo onto the red carpet and into the theatre amid flashbulbs popping. As for “The Daredevil” well, I can’t say I remember much at all other than it being a low budget production made for the drive-in market. The fact that the film was booked at the Tampa Theatre was a miracle in itself—probably the high point of it’s exhibition history. Interestingly I just checked the IMDB and there are only 4 reviews of “The Daredevil” with all reviewers giving the film surprisingly high marks.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thanks Nick.Miss you.Terry and I are putting alot of theatres onFB.I enjoyed my TOUR of the Tampa, Guess you got the letter on the Miller.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on October 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

The orchestra pit no longer exists. Sometime after the grand reopening in 1977 the stage that sat over the pit was completely torn out. It was replaced with the current stage which was constructed a little higher than the original one had been. It was also built outward at the center very slightly extending just a little more towards the audience.

I had a chance to see the orchestra pit after the stage had been torn out and the new one was being built. The floor of the pit had been excavated and enlarged somewhat. The huge beams that support the stage now sit in the foundation of what was once the orchestra pit.

You can see both stages under the photos tab. The first two photos show the screen that sat on the old stage. Compare these photo with the more recent one showing the current stage without the screen. Notice how the stage is slighlty higher and extends a little more outward at the center.

Patsy on October 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

When I was at the Tampa Theatre I didn’t know that there had been an orchestra pit though realize now that a theatre of that era would most certainly have had one. Do hope plans are made to uncover that area and use it once again as an orchestra pit for live productions!

ron1screen on October 13, 2011 at 11:38 am

The early photo’s show a orchestra pit, but now it appears it has been covered over with a stage thrust. When was that done and I wonder if there are any plans to uncover it? Georgious theatre…

jonathan2000 on August 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

than mumble mouth Brando in the “Godfather”,Hands down.Glad i decide to check out the Tampa,got any more Goodies? Sabila Para Adelgazar

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2011 at 10:05 am

Chaz,I loved my visit.Grabbed a few T-shirts,the movie you guys were playing was a sing along to “Mary Poppins',I couldn’t handle that but it was a great tour,thanks for all you do for the folks in Tampa.

ChazBender on May 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I have an extra special regard for the Tampa Theatre as I am blessed to be able to play the magnificent WurliTzer theatre organ before some of the movies. Sitting at the organ console and riding it up through the stage opening with the multicolord spot lights shining on it is a fantastic rush. To realize that I am sitting on the same organ bench that some of the most famous theatre organists including our beloved Rosa Rio has sat, playing it is an honor. The organ is carefully and lovingly cared for by the Central Florida Theatre Organ Society members. If you have not yet paid a visit to the “Tampa” as we call her, you must come.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm

April 7 1963.The Tampa Theatre is finishing a long run on"COME FLY WITH ME".Coming next was “THE BIRDS”.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

You know Nick. Lord Willing I really do want to get back down there,Most likely just me the next time.I would love to see 2001 there.

Nunzienick on March 30, 2011 at 6:18 am

I visisted the Polk several years ago and was lucky enough to have been given the grand tour by the projectionist himself. The main seating level is slightly larger than the Tampa although the theatre itself is not quite as elegant but comes very close. The booth had just been cleaned and repainted and still had the old set-up with two projectors that had recently been refurbished and cleaned. The top and lower magazines where still in place and both machines were massive looking. Last I heard the Polk continues to run classic films every so often. Trivia: Elvis performed onstage at the Polk in the late 1950s. Mike, If you ever make it back down a visit to the Polk is in store for you!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Okay,Nick if i am ever down there again lets go to the Polk.I think you have sent me pictures from your many visits.

Patsy on March 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

The Polk Theatre in Lakeland FL is a must-see as is the restored Athens Theatre in Deland FL.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

thanks Nick,great article,Reynolds was right that pose might have cost him an Oscar.He was was better in “Deliverance” than mumble mouth Brando in the “Godfather”,Hands down.Glad i decide to check out the Tampa,got any more Goodies?

Nunzienick on March 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Burt Reynolds attends showing of “SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT” on Wednesday evening, March 23rd.
Here’s a link to the article:
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