Built in 1926, the Tampa Theatre is one of America’s most elaborate movie palaces and a beloved community landmark.
Visitors to the Theatre enjoy world-class entertainment under a realistic night sky with twinkling stars, in a romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old-world statues, flowers, and gargoyles.
Like other movie palaces around the country, Tampa Theatre was enormously popular when it opened. For the first time in history, the common person had access to opulence — for 25 cents!
But by the 1960s, times had changed. The rise of television and migration to the suburbs had a profound impact on the movie palaces that lit up America’s main streets. Audiences dwindled, costs rose, and many of our nation’s finest movie palaces were demolished.
In 1973, Tampa Theatre faced the same fate. But Tampa’s citizens rallied. Committees and community leaders got involved, and soon reached a deal with the City to rescue the Theatre.
Today, the Theatre is managed by the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation. As one of the most heavily utilized venues of its kind in the United States, Tampa Theatre’s single auditorium hosts more than 600 events each year, including a full schedule of first-run and classic films, concerts, special events, corporate events, tours and educational programs.
A catapult for the imagination since 1926, the nonprofit Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected historic landmark and one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture.
Its mission is to protect, preserve and program the Theatre as a creative film and cultural center for our community.
Annual Report to the Community
Community support and contributions are critical to the Theatre’s continued vitality. In spite of its success, the Theatre only earns about 60% of its annual operating budget through ticket and concession income. Contributions to the Tampa Theatre Foundation help make up the difference and keep the Theatre accessible and affordable for everyone.