Tampa Theatre711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
History Built in 1926 as one of America's most elaborate "movie palaces", the Tampa Theatre today is a fiercely protected and generously supported landmark. Designed by famed theatre architect John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the "atmospheric" style of theatre design. Inside the Tampa, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old world statuary, flowers, and gargoyles. Over it all is a nighttime sky replete with twinkling stars and floating clouds. But by the 1960's and 70's, times had changed. America 's flight to suburbs was having a damaging effect on downtown business districts across the country. Hardest hit were the downtown movie palaces which dotted America's urban landscapes. Audiences dwindled and costs rose. Many of our nation's finest movie palaces were quickly demolished before anyone noticed because the land beneath them became more valuable than the theatre operation. In 1973, the Tampa Theatre faced the same fate. But in Tampa citizens rallied. Committees were formed. City leaders became involved, and soon a deal was reached to have the City rescue the Tampa by assuming its leases. The Arts Council of Hillsborough County agreed to program and manage the Tampa with films, concerts and special events. By the time the Theatre reopened in early 1978, the Tampa had become something of a national model on how to save an endangered theatre. Today, Tampa Theatre is a remarkable success story, presenting and hosting over 600 events a year. With a full schedule of first run and classic films, concerts, special events, corporate events and tours, the theatre is one of the most heavily utilized venues of its kind in the United States. Since its reopening, over 2 million guests have enjoyed film events, over 800,000 have attended concerts, and over 700,000 elementary children have enjoyed professional touring theatre productions in the context of one of Tampa 's largest historic preservation projects. Private support is critical to the Theatre's continued success and service to the community. In spite of its successes, the Theatre only earns about 65 % of its annual operating budget through earned income. The non-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation helps to make up difference by through memberships, special fundraising events, sponsorships and planned giving programs. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a Tampa City Landmark, and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres. Address P.O. Box 172188 Tampa, FL 33672.