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Tampa Theater- Gorgeous old Tampa
This beautiful old theatre is detailed with inspired design. Watch an old movie or a black&white film but make sure you get there 30 mins ahead of time. The opening act to a movie is a wonderful organist who delights the audience as he rises up from the stage and descends as the movie opens:) A must-see!
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (now called the Straz Center) is the largest performing arts center south of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Has five (5) theaters and a performing arts school. Offers a wide variety of concerts, Broadway and off Broadway plays, operas, symphonies, ballets, comedians....
Offers free backstage tours on the weekend that are a real treat
Offers a wide variety of local and Broadway shows throughout the year. See the website below for show schedule.
Best Parking is paid and in the Poe Garage - park on any level of the garage, take the elevator down to the second floor and take the walkway over the streets straight to the center itself
For night performances go to the top floor of the Poe garage for an amazing view of the Tampa skyline
Tampa Theatre - Historic Theater
A beautiful little “movie” theater like they used to make. When it was built in 1926 it was one of America's most elaborate "movie palaces".
Its totally quaint, if you come for a movie be sure to come in early enough to walk around and look at the statues and various decorations, also be sure to look up at the hand painted sky on the ceiling. Many movies start early with a show by the theaters organist. Be sure to watch his exit (the organ and the organist are lowered into the floor).
The theater mainly plays older and more artsy avant-garde type movies. If you're in Tampa near Halloween be sure to dress up to see the "Rocky Horror Picture Show", other local favorites are "Casablanca" and sing-a-long shows like "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins". These shows can be quite fun with most of the audience knowing and yelling out the best lines and singing along to the songs. For some of these shows the audience dress to fit the movie - so bring your lederhosen (Sound of Music) when you come to town.
When you come be sure to come early so you can look around this beautiful theater and see and hear the organist to rises and lowers up through the stage floor and starts off each movie. The theater organ is amazing and sounds fantastic. The organ kicks off every show and plays the entire time during "silent" movies. My advise...when the theater plays a silent movie..>GO. it is amazing!
The theater also has back stage guided tours that are well worth it. Tours times are normally Wednesday and Saturdays at 11:30 AM.
It is one of two cinemas in Tampa Bay which shows independent European movies. Tampa has a whole bunch of cinemas but the problem is that they show more or less the same movies, usually not very noteworthy. If you are the kind of person who looks for more interesting movies, the Tampa Theatre is a good solution. Btw it is also a beautiful building.
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