By Kathy L. Collins

The Tampa Theatre was recently named one of the 10 Best Movie Theatres in the world by the Motion Picture Association of America’s publication, “The Credits.” The 10 were chosen because of their “diversity of spirit, location and architecture.”

The other nine include the State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan; Cine 32 in Auch, France; The Busan Cinema Center in South Korea; Cinemathique Francoise in Paris, France; Sun Picture Cinema in Broome, Australia; Cine Thisio in Athens, Greece; The Raj Mandir Theatre in Jaipur, India; Archipelago Cinema in Thailand; and the Matadero Cineteca in Madrid, Spain.

Jill Witcki, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for the Tampa Theatre recently said, “The Tampa Theatre has been a gem in this community for 86 years. So many people know us as ‘the old theatre that shows old movies,’ and as passionately protected historical landmark, we are happy to fulfill that role. But we hope people realize that we are also the grand, golden-age movie palace that shows new movies, hard to find art house films, live concerts, children’s educational programming and so much more. We truly have something for everyone, all packed into a setting that just doesn’t get any more beautiful than this.”

So, take it from someone who loves the Tampa Theatre, beat the summer heat and go to the movies this summer at Tampa’s original air-conditioned building!

The Tampa Theatre is offering a fantastic Summer Classics series every Sunday at 3 p.m.  You won’t want to miss seeing these classic films in an atmosphere reminiscent of the gold old days of movie theatres.

On Sunday, July 7, celebrate the nation’s 237th birthday with James Cagney in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” On Wednesday, July 17 return to the summer of 1962 in “American Graffiti.” On Sunday, July 21 travel to Paris with “Moulin Rouge.” On Sunday, July 28 you can see “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” On Sunday, August 4 take in the terror that kept everyone out of the ocean with a viewing of “Jaws.” On Sunday, August 11 see “The General.” On Sunday, August 18 you will love to see the classic “Gone With The Wind” in the majesty of the Tampa Theatre, and finally on Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25, who doesn’t love “Casablanca?”

The Tampa Theatre also gives you the chance to take Backstage Tour several times throughout the summer. This is one of the best $5 you will ever spend. Children ages two to 12 are only $2. During the Backstage Tour, you will see where the Mighty Wurlitzer organ goes when the movie starts. You will find out why there are stuffed peacocks perched around the proscenium. You can learn all of the Theatre’s secrets, stories, art and architecture. The 90-minute tour will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, July 9 and August 6 and on Saturdays, July 27 and August 24.

As the Tampa Theatre, located at 711 N. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa, is a historical landmark, it receives funding for shows and events from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and others. For more information on upcoming events and to purchase tickets online, please visit or call 274-8981.

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