The doors to our majestic movie palace first opened in 1926 at the height of the silent film era. Built by Paramount Pictures, the intent of the Theatre’s over-the-top architecture was to overwhelm the audience with opulence, creating an atmosphere in which patrons became receptive to entertainment. Ninety three years later, Tampa Theatre remains committed to being a showplace that elevates the art of film in a palatial environment that welcomes all.
Tampa Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Tampa. When it opened in 1926, the Theatre’s location was at the very hub of Tampa’s retail and entertainment scene, diagonally across from the fabled Maas Brother’s department store and directly across the street from the Florida Theatre. Downtown’s retail decay in the 1960’s and 70’s threatened the Theatre’s survival and plans were developed to demolish the Theatre. Fortunately, citizens rallied and convinced the City of Tampa to step in and rescue the Theatre.
Since its rescue, within the two blocks surrounding Tampa Theatre there has been $400 million in private sector development including three residential towers, hotels, restaurants, office buildings and other private developments, all of which tout their proximity to the Tampa Theatre as a selling point.
Today, the Theatre is regarded with pride throughout our community and beyond as a success story and as a symbol of Tampa’s heritage and resolve. Tampa Theatre’s mission is to preserve, protect and program Tampa Theatre as a creative film and cultural center for the benefit of the community.