After one year of being forced to shut down due to the global pandemic, Tampa’s grand movie palace, Tampa Theatre, is reopening on Thursday, March 11.
Tampa Theatre will offer 12 showings of the new Anthony Hopkins drama, The Father. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, March 11 and 18, and Fridays, March 12 and 19; 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays, March 13 and 20; and 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays, March 14 and 21.
Fans of the grand cinema will notice a few changes. Movie tickets must be purchased online instead of at the box office. Temperature checks and masks will be required for entry. The 1,200-seat auditorium will limit capacity to 200 patrons per screening, and elasticized bands around certain chairs will guide guests to socially distanced seating options. Instead of waiting in line in the lobby for snacks, patrons will use the new Noble Concessions App to order from their seats and will receive a notification when the order is ready to pick up.
Despite the necessary safety modifications, the unforgettable Tampa Theatre experience remains the same, including the triumphant return of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ pre-show. Nationally renowned theater organist Steven Ball has accepted an artist-in-residence position at Tampa Theatre and will be showing off the 96-year-old instrument before each screening.
Tampa Theatre President and CEO John Bell said, “Nobody has wanted to get this building back open more than we have.” Bell added, “We are cautiously optimistic that the time is right, but The Father will be our test balloon to see whether our audiences are ready to come back. What we see over these two weekends will determine what we do next.”
“Since 1926, Tampa Theatre has survived the Great Depression, World War II and all seven Police Academy movies,” Bell said jokingly.
“Soon, we will be adding a global pandemic to that list. With our 100th anniversary right around the corner, we are looking forward to getting back to business as usual and setting up this amazing landmark for its second century,” added Bell.
Tampa Theatre is located at 711 N. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. To reserve tickets, please visit www.tampatheatre.org. For more information, please call 274-8286.