Donation from Family of Board Member Anne Arthur Pittman
Announced Last Night at Private Event

TAMPA, Fla. (April 15, 2016) – Building on what has been a successful year of fundraising for the nonprofit Tampa Theatre, the majestic movie palace is the proud recipient of a half-million dollar gift from the family of Theatre Board Member Anne Arthur Pittman, including her husband, Drew Pittman; her father and stepmother, Tom and Dixie Arthur; her mother and stepfather, Bretta Arthur Sullivan and The Honorable Don Sullivan; and her sister and brother-in-law, Tready and Thayer Smith.

Pittman announced the family gift Thursday evening at a private event celebrating Tampa Theatre at her mother’s Tampa home. In attendance were supporters of the historic landmark’s restoration efforts, including June and Tom Simpson – whose Thonotosassa estate includes a replica of Tampa Theatre’s auditorium; Florida State Representative Dana Young, who was among the legislators instrumental in securing a $1 million state appropriation for Tampa Theatre in the recently passed budget; Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, whose Capital Asset Preservation (CAP) Grant program recently awarded the Theatre $325,000; and architect Paul Siemborski of Westlake Reed Leskosky, who shared details of the Theatre’s ongoing efforts to preserve the 90-year-old building and update its aging systems.

To properly and fully restore the historic landmark, its needs total more than $10 million. So while the $500,000 family gift is earmarked for restoration, it will be used in the short term to unlock matching grants, which require the receiving organization to match the amount of the grant 1:1 in order to receive the funds.

“The growth and revitalization of our downtown right now is exciting, and the fact that Tampa has this gorgeous, glamorous 90-year-old theater right middle of it all is amazing,” says Pittman. “I am proud to be part of the campaign to restore the Tampa Theatre so that my future grandchildren can sit in the same theater where my own grandmother, Peggy, sat as a child.”

For Pittman, the love of Tampa Theatre truly is a family tradition, passed down through the generations.  Her mother, Bretta, recalls fond memories of going to movies as a child and getting a special treat from the concessions stand: “There was a jar of dill pickles on the counter… they would wrap one up in a napkin, and you’d sit there watching the movie with a big pickle in one hand and a Sugar Daddy in the other, all for just fifty cents. Anybody over the age of 60 who grew up in Tampa remembers those pickles.”

JL Wagner, Director of Development, JL@tampatheatre.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Witecki, Director of Marketing, jill@tampatheatre.org or 813-857-9089.