Tropic Theatre

122 W. Main Street,
Leesburg, FL 34748

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Tinseltoes on July 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Grand opening of the Tropic described in this 1961 trade article: Boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2012 at 9:05 pm

The original architect of the Fain Theatre was Roy A. Benjamin. Here is the announcement of the opening from the January 24, 1936, issue of The Film Daily:

“New Leesburg House Opens

“Leesburg, Fla. — The Fain Theater, new 500-seat motion picture house, was opened this week by Earle M. Fain, owner and manager. It was planned by R. A. Benjamin of Jacksonville, architect for E. J. Sparks, and cost about $25,000. Building includes separate balcony and ticket window for Negroes.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 20, 2010 at 3:50 am

All the pictures were nice,nice story Steve.I too,worked in an old theatre,always strange sounds,but no ghosts.No such thing.It is all in the mind.

DonLewis on September 15, 2010 at 6:46 am

A photo of the the Fain Theatre before becoming the Tropic in Leesburg.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on August 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Here are my pictures from August 2010.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 16, 2009 at 9:00 am

The architect for the 1960 remodeling of the Fain Theatre into the Tropic, which was quite extensive, was Rufus E. Bland. Bland was the long-time in-house architect for the Martin circuit, and MCM, the company that operated the Tropic, was a partnership that included members of the Martin family. The remodeled theater had 450 seats, according to an article in Boxoffice of April 3, 1961, which was accompanied by three small photos of the house.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 5, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Another 1988 photo is here.

SteveVerno on May 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm

In 1973, after moving to Leesburg, I went to work at the Tropic. She was a grand old lady but spooky. ON a Sunda, while getting things set up, I was in the new side projection room. Out of the corner of my eye, i saw someone in a checkered shirt walk by to get to the old side. I thought it was my coworker. I heard the front door banging, so I went downstairs and it was my coworker. I asked him how he got locked out. He sai he just got there. I told him I sa him going to the old side. We both walked to the old side projection room. The machines were threaded and in the corner of the room was the checkered shirt I saw. That same night, while cleaning up in the old 1936 theater, I looked up and saw the lights on in the projection room. I dont know how they were on because you turned off everything at the circuit board. After cleaning up, my coworker and I heard someone walking towards the stairs. The lights upstairs turned on and we heard the stairs creak like someone was coming down. We shut the door and left the building. As we drove away, I looked back and saw the door to the upstairs slowly open but no one was there. It still makes my hair stand up thinking about it.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 15, 2008 at 12:12 am

This is a 2008 photo of the Tropic Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 13, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Here is an article about the Tropic Theater.

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 3:05 am

In 1963 the Tropic was part of the MCM Theater Co, based in the Tropic building in Leesburg. The IMPA for that year states that the Tropic Florida in Leesburg was for “colored patronage”, so apparently the theater was segregated at that time.

magicians on September 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm

The Theater was in full operation during the Churches occupation.

magicians on September 18, 2007 at 8:32 pm

The Church was only there for 1 year and they leased the older side of the Tropic on Sunday mornings only. The Calvary Babtist Church had around 100 members and once in a while they helf Christian Rock concerts at the theater as well. The membership left when their new building was completed.

kencmcintyre on August 9, 2007 at 3:55 am

The Tropic was taken over by a church from 1991 to 1993, according to the church website:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 26, 2006 at 12:10 pm

This is another photo of the Tropic Twin Theater.

magicians on September 25, 2006 at 11:18 pm

1989-1995 I operated the Tropic Twin, only I called it the Tropic Cinemagic Theater. I cleaned up the machines which hadn’t run in over 10 years, and started running first run films. Due to other investments, I closed the theater in 95'. There was a new owner who ran it again in 1999, but that was short lived due to an accident. In 2003 the Kareoke people removed the original silver screen and rocking chair seating in order to create his sing along lounge.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 6, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Here is an updated link for the photo posted on Apr 6, 2006.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 6, 2006 at 2:09 pm

THe following is from the city of Leesburg Florida history site:

“The Tropic Theatre was originally called the Fain Theatre when it was first opened in 1936 by with the movie “Collegiate.” On November 24,1960, after being extremely remodeled it reopened as the Tropic Theatre. A fascinating new feature was added. The interim ceiling lights were angled to make it appear as if the ceiling were non-existent. The Tropic was once again remodeled and expanded and reopened as the Tropic Twin Theatre in 1979. The theater’s final change was in 2003 when it became a karaoke bar, the “All-American Sing Along”.

This photo accompanied the above text.

irvl on October 5, 2005 at 10:42 pm

Is this theatre open yet?