With Critical Infrastructure Upgrades Underway, the Historic Landmark
Celebrates Its Largest Anonymous Gift Ever

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2016) – With all the talk of Powerball this week, Tampa Theatre is celebrating pennies from heaven of a different sort: a check for $100,000 earmarked for restoration of the historic building, drawn on an investment account and delivered anonymously. And with no way to discover the identity of the mystery benefactor, the Theatre hopes that a very public “thank you” will reach his or her ears.

“We have received generous donations in the past from friends of the Theatre who wish not to be recognized publicly,” says Tampa Theatre’s Director of Development, JL Wagner. “But this is the largest anonymous gift. It was a surprise when the check arrived, and while we respect the donor’s wish not to reveal themselves to us, we want to make sure they know just how appreciative we are. A gift like this encourages those who work so passionately on the Theatre’s behalf, and we hope it inspires others who may want to support this beloved landmark. ”

Since the installation of a digital projection and sound system in 2013, the non-profit organization that protects and programs the 89-year-old Theatre has been focused on addressing the aging building’s critical infrastructure needs. Late last year, crews began replacing the original windows on the second and third floors facing Florida Avenue. In the new year, work has also begun on an electrical project that will restore the house lighting fixtures and replace power systems.

The anonymous $100,000 gift came with the proviso that the funds be used for building restoration, and while the current projects are already funded, the Tampa Theatre’s list of needs remains long.

“Every restoration project is slotted into one of four levels of priority that, along with available funding, determine the order in which we address the Theatre’s needs,” says Tampa Theatre President & CEO, John Bell. “First-level projects relate to life safety and/or the structural integrity of the building. Level two is projects that enhance the quality of our programs and increase the Theatre’s earned income potential. Level three projects improve our patrons’ comfort and convenience, and level four relates to the aesthetics of the building.”

“We often talk about how it is through the generosity of our community that Tampa Theatre is able to open its doors every day,” Bell says. “Gifts like this remind us just how beloved this building is, and humble those of us entrusted with its care. We cannot thank you enough – whoever you are.”

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