Be a part of Tampa Theatre history.


We are improving your experience.

The biggest complaint we receive from our patrons is that our seats are terrible. We agree. But contrary to popular belief, these are not the original seats we had when we opened -- they were installed in 1976 and they're overdue for replacement.

Our new seats will combine modern-day comfort, more leg room, and cup holders (finally!) with the classic look of the original 1926 profile and color combinations. They'll be beautiful, comfortable, and historically accurate.


And you can help make history.

Your contribution helps us with our first major renovation in 40 years, and we think you deserve to be recognized for that. With gifts of $500 or more, a message of your choice will be laser-engraved on an elegant plaque and placed on one of our new seats, guaranteeing that you and your loved ones will be a visible part of this landmark for years to come.

You can sponsor a seat:

  • As an individual, couple or family
  • For your parents, children, or grandchildren
  • In memory of a loved one
  • With the name of your business or organization
  • Marking a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion
  • To honor a retiring employee
  • With your favorite quotation or movie reference
  • As a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for someone (we can acknowledge your gift to the recipient)
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“ I saw the value of putting nature to work.”

John eberson  |  architect of tampa theatre

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 Design rendering

Design rendering

Getting back to our roots.

Tampa’s majestic movie palace has been stunning guests with its ornately over-the-top architecture for more than 90 years. But many who visit today don’t realize that some major design elements – the red velvet seats, carpet and main curtain, and the concession stand canopy outlined in lights – were not part of architect John Eberson’s vision. Historic photos from opening night in 1926 reveal a boldly patterned carpet and a main curtain with a narrow pinstripe, neither of which were red. An original seat preserved in the Theatre’s collection revealed elaborately decorated end standards and glazed fabric upholstery meant to look like warm, chocolate-hued leather. 

“When we reopen in December, I think people are going to be surprised by what they see, which will be stunningly beautiful, but very different than what we’ve grown accustomed to over the past 40 years,” says Theatre President & CEO John Bell of the upcoming restoration work. “Our responsibility is to preserve and protect this incredible landmark, and an important part of that work is to return the building to its original appearance wherever possible."

Ready to help?

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Give Any Amount


Preserving Tampa Theatre for generations to come.

In planning a comprehensive restoration of Tampa Theatre, the Board of Directors has identified the 90-year-old movie palace’s most critical needs that will protect the building and improve your comfort and experience. The total cost to fully restore the Theatre is estimated to be $12 million, with $6 million identified as urgently needed improvements. We have raised $4.1 million towards that $6 million phase-one goal, which will address critical infrastructure projects, reseat the auditorium and complete the first stages of decorative restoration.

We invite you to take part in the campaign to restore Tampa Theatre. Your gift will ensure that critical infrastructure and renovation projects are completed in 2017, as well as improve your patron experience with new auditorium seats, new concessions counters and bars, and a beautifully restored lobby.

For more about our restoration plan, click here