Britton Cinema 8

3938 S. Dale Mabry Highway,
Tampa, FL 33611

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Britton Theatre

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The Britton Theater was opened in 1956 as a 2,200-seat single screen theatre with a balcony.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

RRF on July 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I remember seeing Oklahoma in Todd-AO 70mm… was originally a single screen roadshow cinema.

Marc_Wielage on February 20, 2014 at 1:37 am

I remember the Britton Theater as it existed in the 1960s, when it was just one GIANT single theater. I believe it held roughly 1200-1300 seats. My memory is that there might have been a balcony at the back. The shopping center was not entirely finished, so there was a vacant lot on the right side of the theater with a wooden wall covering most of it up. A faded sign on the brick wall of the theater advertised Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” which would’ve been from 1959, but my own memories only start from around 1962. I believe the first movie I saw there was “Taras Bulba,” which would’ve been from that year.

The theater was fairly upscale, kind of a competition to the downtown Tampa and Florida theaters, and they actually had ushers in uniforms and all that stuff. All the way through the late 1960s, they’d show a newsreel, a cartoon short, a couple of trailers, and then the feature. And they always had the memorable AMC logo with the annoying spinning projector logo and the harpsichord/bass song (variations of which still exist with AMC today).

The Britton Plaza theater kind of fell apart over time, and I know they divided it up and turned it into a multiplex. But it was a great theater for me, and I saw some memorable films there. I think the one that had the largest crowd in local history was “Thunderball,” where I swear, the ticket line stretched about a block all the way down the shopping center and to the left, towards the drug store that used to be there. Huge, crazy, massive crowds, easily two thousand people. I also had terrific memories of seeing “Our Man Flint,” “You Only Live Twice,” and a few bad Elvis movies. Palma Ceia was a great neighborhood to grow up in, and the Britton was a very well-run theater for its time.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on February 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

The Logo you’re thinking of is GCC.

Mikeoaklandpark on February 21, 2014 at 3:54 am

After GCC pulled out the theater was divided from 3-8 theaters and it was one of the worst cut job I ever saw in a theater. How they have stayed open all these years is beyond me. AMC Twin Bays in the next plaza was much nicer.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on February 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

The Britton was probably the finest single screen theatre in Tampa when first opened in 1956 before being destroyed by GCC in 1973. Capacity of the single screen Britton was 2200 seats and included a balcony. It was huge and very modern for its day. Some films I remember seeing on the Britton’s 60-foot wide screen were WEST SIDE STORY, SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN, CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED, WHAT A WAY TO GO, PLAY MISTY FOR ME, and LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH. The final film shown on the original big screen was THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK in 1972.

When the BOGGY CREEK run ended GCC closed it for several weeks reopening it as a triplex in 1973. All the character of the original Britton was destroyed—it was pretty bad. Evidently proud of the job they had done GCC then quickly twinned the Loew’s Theatre on Westshore effectively destroying another beautiful theatre. In 1992 Movieco took over ownership of the Britton and cut it into an 8-plex—it was horrendous. I only went once out of curiosity and never again.

cvolosin on April 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Has anyone noticed this is running like a 4plex?.. i havent had time to go that way recently, but strikes me odd. Just like ybor 20 once taken over by Carmike (AMC now) only 10 of the 20 screens are functioning.

Trolleyguy on April 23, 2016 at 7:19 am

The same thing is happening where I live with the local second-run theatre. They only show movies in 3 of the 5 auditoriums because of the cost of converting to digital projection. At this time, they could only afford to buy 3 projectors.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 23, 2016 at 7:25 am

cvolosin is the Carmike/AMC merger finalized? I like Nick went to this theater once after it became an 8 plex and never again. What a horrible experience it was just once. My living room was bigger than some of the theaters.

cvolosin on April 23, 2016 at 8:36 am

Trollyguy i know that they were going to close the balcony theaters because of accesability, i know they have digital 3d for one screen but seriously it was so dirty and dingy. I walked thru the place with realitors before it reopened. The web page is not the same im wondering if it is new operators? My work doesnt take me that direction anymore so im not too sure whats going on.

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on April 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

I just checked today’s schedule. Four features are listed: Jungle Book, The Huntsman, Barbershop, and Batman vs. Superman. So only 4 auditoriums are active. There are 67 reviews on Google for the Britton. Surprisingly the good reviews far outweigh the bad. Maybe they’ve made some improvements. Regardless I still have no desire to visit.

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