Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Section

Tampa Theatre and Tour & Lunch

Tampa Theatre and Tour & Lunch

Tampa Bay
Monday, September 16, 2019 - 10:30am
Tampa
Florida

By Pat & Greg Watson: Photos by Dave Hutchinson:  Twenty nine members met in downtown Tampa on September 16th for a tour of the Tampa Bay Theatre. This was the first time the club hosted an event during the week, and we were pleased with the turnout. Everyone founda close parking spot even though it was a Monday! Our tour guide, James DeFord, is a manager and also responsible for Marketing and Community Relations. James was terrific. With 12 years of experience with the theatre, James kept us entertained with stories and background information. Such as, the theatre was built in one year and opened in 1926. The cost was one million dollars. The price to get in was only $.25 to see a silent film. The theatre had “Man Made Air” to escape the Florida heat (the only air conditioned building in Tampa at that time), which was a luxury at the time. Movies ran every 15 minutes. So how many movies at .25 are necessary to reach break even, we didn’t even ask... The theatre is in the process of being renovated, saved by the community from being demolished. Our group had an amazing tour, from the balcony to the basement, including findingout the secrets of the peacock and how the starlight stays lit in the theatre’s night sky.Lunch became very exciting when we discovered the Ybor Colombia had lost power right before we arrived. The group was up for the adventure when they heard the restaurant could still make drinks. The mojitos were awesome! The power came back about 15 minutes later and everyone who stuck it out had a delicious lunch. If you missed the tour, the theatre is open for movies and stage events evenings during the week evening and matinee times on the weekend. It is a beautiful piece of history and is well worth seeing. 

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