Tampa Theatre’s annual horror fest features first-ever SpiritsFest fundraiser, virtual events every weekend and Private Ghost Tours.

While the pandemic has kept the Tampa Theatre closed for movie watching, it is not willing to give up on Halloween. Tampa Theatre is going viral this year with its annual horror fest, known as A (Virtual) Nightmare on Franklin Street.

Jill Witecki with Tampa Theatre said, “Tampa Theatre is still not ready to welcome big crowds for public events, but what we can offer something else.”

Tampa Theatre will pack its virtual cinema screening room full with new-release horror films, locally produced thrillers and cult favorites all month long. It plans to welcome Tampa’s most terrifying filmmakers for special livestream filmmaker Q&As throughout October.

It will present spine-tingling livestreaming special events every weekend. Tampa Theatre will also offer Private Ghost Tours for your family, coven, quarantine circle or horde, up to 20 souls.

New this year is the SpiritsFest fundraiser, presented by Papa’s Pilar Rum & Treaty Oak Distilling. This event builds on the success of its long-standing BeerFest and WineFest fundraisers.

The Private Ghost Tours will run from Thursday, October 1 through Friday, October 30. You must make an appointment. Tickets are $25 per person with a minimum of 10. Masks are required for entry. To make an appointment, contact Witecki at jill@tampatheatre.org.

On Friday, October 9, Tampa Theatre will present the 1925 silent film Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by live music from nationally renowned theatre organist Steven Ball. Patrons will be treated to a unique view of the organ courtesy of an over-the-shoulder camera.

To make the experience feel just a little bit more like ‘being there,’ Tampa Theatre will host a popcorn pickup under the historic marquee from 4 to 7 p.m. Orders can be placed online for popcorn, fountain sodas and other cinematic snacks through the new concessions app.

Throughout the month, Tampa Theatre will livestream Immortal Island, a supernatural lost-at-sea thriller. On Friday, October 16 at 9 p.m., you can see Tampa-based filmmaker Robert Sterrett and members of the cast and crew of Immortal Island for a live Q&A after the show. Tickets are $12 per household.

From Thursday, October 15 through Sunday, October 18, Tampa Theatre will present Phantasmagoria for a first-ever virtual tour. The Plague Tales program features five literary tales of terror, horrific folk stories, legends and myths. On Saturday, October 17, members of the cast will participate in a livestream Q&A. Tickets are $25 per household.

SpiritsFest will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 24. Each premium sampling-to-go box will include two generous servings of four ready-to-pour cocktails, a family-sized bag of Tampa Theatre popcorn, souvenir cocktail glasses and other ghoulish goodies. You also get access to an exclusive evening of livestreaming entertainment, including a mixology class and a Tampa Theatre Ghost Tour.

Sampling boxes are $95, plus applicable fees ($90 plus fees for Tampa Theatre Members), and all proceeds benefit the historic Tampa Theatre, which remains closed to the public in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

For more information and to get tickets, please visit www.tampatheatre.org.

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