Back to the Future (1985)

1h 56m / PG / Comedy Adventure

Dates and Times

THIS SUNDAY is your last chance to see Tampa Theatre before the historic landmark closes for six weeks for its first major restoration in 40 years – a restoration that will take it “back in time” to the original 1926 look of its lobby, seats, carpet, curtains and more. And to celebrate what this restoration means for the future of Tampa’s non-profit movie palace, we are hosting a FREE COMMUNITY SCREENING of the most appropriate film we could think of, Back to the Future.

Pretty much everyone has, at one point or another, fantasized about going back in time. It’s a tremendously powerful idea – you could bring your old self back information (omniscient advice, winning lottery numbers or, say, a sports almanac) and immediately get ahead. Even before the science-fiction concept of time travel was commonplace, everybody knew the universal human experience of feeling “I wish I had known.” But Back to the Future isn’t about the power of time travel; it’s about the risk.

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox in the role that would catapult him to superstardom – in an alternate timeline, Marty was played by Eric Stoltz) is a teenager with a pretty normal life in 1985 in suburban California. Normal, that is, except that his neighbor is eccentric outcast scientist Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), and Doc Brown has just invented a (mostly) functioning time machine. Marty agrees to help him with his experiment, but an untimely interruption by Libyan terrorists traps him in 1955 and shoots him straight into the burgeoning relationship of his own young parents. If he messes things up with his future knowledge, Marty endangers his own existence.

It makes one wonder: if director Robert Zemeckis or star Michael J. Fox could travel back to 1985, would they tell their past selves that this little, unlikely screwball comedy they’re working on is going to be one of the biggest movie franchises of all time? Or if they knew what a cultural touchstone it was going to be, would that make its own existence impossible? Luckily we’re all stuck in this timeline, and we’ll always have Back to the Future.

Doors & bar open at 6:30pm