By Jill Revelle Witecki

The Tampa Theatre has been a favorite destination for Bay-area moviegoers for generations. Built in 1926, the Tampa Theatre hosts more than 600 events each year, including first-run films, classic movies, concerts, corporate events, educational programs, weddings and tours. The historic theatre is a passionately protected landmark, a member of the League of Historic American Theatres and one of America’s best-preserved movie palaces, maintained as a dynamic cultural institution by the Tampa Theatre Foundation.

Starting in April, the next generation of young fans will get the chance to see some of their parents’ most beloved childhood films on the big screen, thanks to a new Family Favorites classic movie series, presented by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

“We asked for a lot of input while developing this series,” says John Bell, Tampa Theatre’s President and CEO. “We polled parents and talked to local family bloggers. It was at their suggestion that we chose these particular films and moved the show time to 2 p.m. Sunday afternoons.”

The Theatre also hopes that offering a discounted kids’ ticket price for this series – $7 for ages 12 and younger – will appeal to families looking for an affordable weekend outing in downtown Tampa. Adult tickets are $9.

“We’ve never offered a child’s price for our classic films before,” Bell says. “But with the Family Favorites, we want Tampa’s parents to know that we hope they will bring the whole family. While many of our summer and holiday classic offerings are family-friendly, this series is truly family-targeted.”

The family classics that will be presented as follows:

The Princess Bride (1987) (PG) – 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7

Babe (1995) (G) – 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) (G) – 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21

Annie (1982) (PG) – 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28

The Muppet Movie (1979) (G) – 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5

The Neverending Story (1984) (PG) – 2 p.m. Sunday, May 12

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (PG) – 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19

Tickets for the Family Favorites classic movie series are $9 for adults and $7 for children and Tampa Theatre members at the box office or online at  ($2 convenience fee applies). The series is presented by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, with media sponsorship by Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.


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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.