Tampa Theatre, a local icon for more than 90 years, extends closure through April


There is not a place I love more in this city than the Tampa Theatre. I have often found the theatre, any movie theatre really, to be a wonderful machine of empathy. A respite from the malaise of the day-to-day grind. A palace of perspective providing a platform for seldom heard voices. The theatre, for me at least, is as much an escape as it is a place to recharge. The Tampa Theatre, of course, is quite unlike any other theatre in the world.

Click HERE to donate to Tampa’s non-profit movie palace

A movie palace unlike any other

Our Franklin Street icon with its dazzling marquee, taxidermic peacocks, gargoyles and lush velvet curtains gives grace, dignity and atmosphere to the films is shows. How could I forget to mention the organist who plays before each film begins. Such music is the proper harkening for the divine beast that is cinema. Awaken the art, and enjoy the film!

I could wax poetic for days why the Tampa Theatre is so vital to Tampa’s arts and entertainment scene. On March 23, Theatre officials announced that the Tampa Theatre would extend its shutdown through at least the end of April. This extension is in keeping with other theaters across the country.

It’s a necessary precaution in these uncertain times. While no films are screening, you can still support this most wonderful place through donations, and the purchase of gift cards for future use.

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Variety of fine and performing arts have a home at Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre isn’t just a home for film. This Franklin Street gem has hosted some of the most renowned comedians, artists, authors, podcasters (glory be to NightVale and Karen Kilgraff), in addition to hosting lectures and live Q&A with some of the most budding and brilliant minds in the world.

It is home to inspiration, libations, and charismatic ghosts — and maybe the best damn popcorn in the city. We can’t tell what the day-to-day will hold for the mitigation of COVID-19, or what new guidelines/directives may be passed down on the Federal, State or Local levels, but we do know we want Tampa Theatre around for another 90 years, and another 90 after that, until the end of time.

Learn more about this beautiful home for the arts by following Tampa Theatre on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Theatre officials have also posted some recommended viewing during social distancing and/or quarantine in the city of Tampa.

Screening the classics once more

Because of Tampa Theatre I got to view Aliens, Casablanca, Halloween, and THE ROOM the way they were meant to be seen. I’ve never seen the theatre experience as a solo activity, even if I go to the film alone. The appreciation of art, sincerely or ironically, is a communal one. It’s a delight to share in the joy, terror, thrills, and popcorn stunts with a group of other cinephiles looking to immerse themselves in a new world.

See you soon, Tampa Theatre.

Address: 711 North Franklin Street

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.