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Exclusive Photos: Tampa Theatre’s Expansion Introduces New 43-Seat Microcinema!

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Tampa Theatre's New 43-Seat Microcinema Exclusive Photos!

With plush velvet seats, bold 1920s-esque carpeting, art deco light fixtures, and one little hidden gargoyle guarding the door, the new John T. Taylor Screening Room brings the elegance and history of the Tampa Theatre to a more intimate venue.

After nearly a century of screenings, the historic movie palace at 711 N Franklin St. finally expanded next door. The 43-seat screening room – dubbed a microcinema – opens on June 1 with a series of screenings of The Old Oak from British director Ken Loach.

The space was named after former Tampa Theatre board member John T. Taylor. The philanthropist’s gift helped the institution secure the funding needed to bring the screening room to life. Other funding came from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissions, Tampa’s Community Redevelopment Agency, and private donors. On Friday, Taylor joined Mayor Jane Castor, Theatre President and CEO John Bell, and City Councilwoman and CRA board chair Gwen Henderson for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and preview of the new space.

The 1,260-square-foot screening room promises an intimate experience with big sights and sounds designed by Boston Light & Sound, which installed Tampa Theatre’s digital projection and audio system in 2013.

The microcinema also features 4K Christie digital projection and 7.1 Dolby Surround sound. As for aesthetics, the 43 seats are the same chocolate brown with scalloped backs you sit in next door. From the lobby’s tile and wallpaper to the theater’s carpet are bright and bold colors, patterns, and textures that won’t let you forget you’re at Tampa Theatre.

There are also big and small details from original architect John Eberson’s original Theatre plans combined with modern touches. The small lobby boasts a concession bar, a spiral staircase up to the projection room, and historic Tampa Theatre photos.

The small cinema marks a “seismic shift” for Tampa Theatre’s future, Bell said, allowing for more flexibility, concerts, community events, and, of course, movies.

After the June 1 opening night, there will be more screenings of The Old Oak at the new John T. Taylor Screening Room through the next week.

  • 2:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. June 2
  • 7 p.m. June 3-6

There are also free open houses this week.

  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 3
  • 4-6 p.m. June 4
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 5
  • 4-6 p.m. June 6
  • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. June 7

For more information and tickets, head to TampaTheatre.org.
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