Major Gifts from the Florida Medical Clinic’s Foundation of Caring and An Anonymous Donor Will Fund the $23,000 Project as Part of the Theatre’s Fall Restoration Campaign

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2017) – Just in time for World Sight Day – an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment – Tampa Theatre is announcing two major gifts that will fund new accessibility upgrades for disabled patrons. Thanks to a $7,000 grant from the Florida Medical Clinic’s Foundation of Caring and a $16,000 gift from an anonymous donor, the $23,000 project will be completed while the historic movie palace is closed for six weeks in November and December for extensive restoration work.

The new technology, which works in conjunction with the Theatre’s digital cinema system, includes multi-channel listening devices that can provide audio narration of the action on the screen for visually impaired guests or work with a patron’s T-coil hearing aid to amplify the film’s audio track, as well personal captioning devices that relay closed captions to hearing impaired movie-goers at their individual seats. Boston Light and Sound, the company who designed and installed Tampa Theatre’s digital cinema system in 2014, will be providing these upgrades as well, and the new devices will be available at the concessions stand for most new and classic films, starting when the Theatre reopens in late December.

The timing of these generous gifts couldn’t be better: new federal guidelines that outline how movie theatres can provide effective communication through the use of auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were announced in January and take effect on June 2, 2018. Thanks to these gifts, Tampa Theatre will be fully compliant well ahead of the deadline, and will be able not only to make its film programming more accessible to its current patrons, but also – hopefully – welcome new guests who have not previously been able to enjoy the magic of seeing a motion picture at Tampa’s majestic movie palace.

“Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring is extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Tampa Theatre,” says Angela Pottinger, executive director for the Foundation of Caring. “As healthcare providers, it is important for us to address the needs of our community outside of our clinic walls. By supporting the Theatre’s accessibility upgrades, we can ensure inclusion for all and continue to make a more meaningful and long-lasting impact.”

For details on the restoration work happening at Tampa Theatre this fall, visit TampaTheatre.org/restoration

MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Witecki at jill@tampatheatre.org or (813) 857-9089