Tampa Theatre Plans to Follow Trend Started by Cinépolis Theatres
of Adding Children’s Play Equipment Next to Adult Movie Seats

TAMPA, Fla. (April 1, 2017)
– Tampa’s majestic movie palace announced today plans to take a page from Cinépolis Theatres’ successful “Cinépolis Junior” screening rooms (read more HERE) and include a play area for children adjacent to the traditional chairs when the historic theatre reseats the auditorium later this year.

Theatre Director of Marketing, Jill Witecki, plans to announce details to the public at tomorrow’s 3:00pm screening of Space Jam, part of the Theatre’s popular Family Favorites classic movie series.

“We know that our architect, John Eberson, valued his youngest moviegoers,” Witecki says. “That much is evident from the tiny ‘tot’s pot’ toilets that he included in both of the women’s restrooms. We talk all the time about trying to attract younger audiences, and when we read about what Cinépolis was doing in California, it was absolutely an ‘a-ha’ moment for us.”

Cinépolis Junior

The Cinépolis theater chain has incorporated “Cinépolis Junior” screening rooms at two of their California locations. CLICK HERE for details.

Timing is ideal, Witecki says, as the Theatre is currently on track to close for several weeks at the end of 2017 for new seats to be installed. The current seats, which have been in place since 1976, will be replaced with modernized replicas of the Theatre’s original 1926 chairs, and will also incorporate increased leg room, more ADA-accessible wheelchair locations, and cup holders.

Theatre staff are working with architects on how to incorporate into the existing architecture on the west wall of the auditorium a multi-level climbing structure and tube slide that will end in a ball pit near the stage. CEO John Bell says he hopes to have renderings ready to share by the end of the Family Favorites series – a screening of The Princess Bride on April 30.

“As this amazing building’s caretakers, we are tasked with preserving its history,” says Bell,  “but as it’s programmers, we are also tasked with creating a vibrant, flexible space that will appeal to the next generation. Of course it is a challenge to integrate a jungle gym into a faithful historic restoration, but we have hired the very best architects and restoration experts, and we have every confidence that their designs will be sensitive to Eberson’s original vision and FUN for Tampa’s families.”

Those interested in supporting the ‘Cush Your Tush’ fundraising campaign for the new seats can visit for details and the opportunity to contribute online.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Witecki – who has an 18-month-old at home and who, admittedly, might be suffering from a bit of “mommy brain,” can be reached at or (813) 274-8287.

The historic Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved movie palaces, which means that cockamamie ideas like playgrounds in the auditorium and roller coasters in the balcony (which would be fun, no?) would never, ever, ever happen here. The majestic building is owned by the City of Tampa and operated as a dynamic film and cultural center by the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation. Programming is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. Tampa Theatre is a proud member of the League of Historic American Theatres and the Art House Convergence.