With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Who can resist a good holiday movie? When you couple that comforting feeling with a majestic movie palace, Christmas carols and even a visit from Santa Claus himself, you have an excellent holiday outing perfect for the entire family. The Tampa Theatre is proud to present its annual Holiday Classics movie series.

Jill Witecki with the Tampa Theatre said, “When you visit the Tampa Theatre, you are not just coming for a movie. You are coming for an experience.” Witecki added, “One of the brightest and most beloved of those experiences for our guests is the tradition of sharing holiday films on the big screen with family and friends, and singing along to Christmas carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ before the show.

First up is the Academy Award winning film from 1947- Miracle on 34th Street on Sunday, November 27 at 3 p.m. But first, Santa will make an appearance in the Tampa Theatre lobby at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m. Santa will share a special story from the stage at 3 p.m. Miracle on 34th Street is the perennial Christmas classic. It has an uplifting message that magic can still happen in the mundane world. This movie has earned its place in our hearts.
On Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m. come see Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. This is a wonderful holiday movie. The music is by the venerable Irving Berlin. Bing and Astaire dance and sing like nobody else ever has. Witecki said, “The holiday season can be stressful; hopefully watching Holiday Inn can help.”

Next, on Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m. come see the fantastic holiday film, White Christmas. The song by the same name was made famous by Bing Crosby who sang it first in Holiday Inn. White Christmas stars Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen as matched pairs of entertainers playing out a timeless story of cute misunderstandings as they travel the road to love.

No holiday season is complete without seeing It’s A Wonderful Life. If you watch It’s A Wonderful Life every year, you will see a different message in it every time. The Tampa Theatre will show it eight times beginning on Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. It’s A Wonderful Life will also be shown on Saturday, December 17 at 3 and 7:30 p.m., on Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m. and Monday through Thursday, December 19 to 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, on Friday, December 23, come see Love Actually. This is really three and a half movies in one. It is a Christmas movie, a romantic comedy, an ensemble movie and half of an anthology movie. Witecki said, “Christmas draws people together, so making a series of interlocking love stories makes a lot of sense; Christmas can also make people anxious and fretful, so making the movie a frantic accumulation of plots makes a lot of sense too.”

Adults 21 years and older can ring in the new year at the Tampa Theatre’s NYE Wrap Party 2016 on Saturday, December 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Tampa Theatre will be transformed into the fraternity house where Bluto, Flounder, Otter and the rest of the Animal House gang lived in the 1978 classic movie. Bed sheet togas or other Animal House inspired costumes are we one. Party goers will feast on heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and beer and wine.

Tickets for the Holiday Classics movie series are $10 for adults and $8 for children and Tampa Theatre members. Tickets for the NYE Wrap Party 2016 are $99 and $89 for Tampa Theatre members. You can buy your tickets to any of the holiday classic movies or the NYE Wrap Party at the Tampa Theatre Box Office or online at www.tampatheatre.org. There is a $2 convenience fee if you buy tickets online.

The Tampa Theatre, built in 1926, was one of America’s most elaborate movie palaces. Today, it is one of Tampa’s most beloved historical treasures, located at 711 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa.

For more information, please call 274-8981.

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