Movie classics as they were meant to be seen on the big screen

Tampa film fans know that when it comes to beloved classics, there is no more authentic experience than seeing them in the city’s majestic movie palace.

For more than a quarter of a century, the community has flocked to Tampa Theatre on hot Sunday afternoons to enjoy summer classics as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen, surrounded by friends, with a bag of fresh popcorn and a cold drink in hand.

This year, Tampa’s longest-running classic movie series celebrates nine decades of extraordinary filmmaking: The oldest offering, a collection of silent comedy shorts from the 19-teens and ‘20s, takes Tampa Theatre back to its roots of presenting silent films with live musical accompaniment on its original Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. The newest film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” has become a “modern classic” that routinely shows up top 10 lists of the best films ever made. Thanks to more than 1,500 people who nominated titles and voted on the finalists, the nostalgic musical romp “Grease” returns to the lineup in its sing-along form for the Fans Pick spot on July 7. Just because it’s such a great summer movie, runner-up Fans Pick, “Jaws” will be shown on June 16.

Audiences are also invited stick around after select shows for Film Talks with some of the community’s most knowledgeable film experts, including retired USF film professor Harriet Deer and retired Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall, who will examine the films’ themes, structure and cultural significance, and answer questions from the audience. (Film Talks are included with movie admission.)

June 9: 3 p.m. “Some Like It Hot” (1959)

June 16: 3 p.m. “Jaws” (1975)

June 23: 3 p.m. “Cool Hand Luke” (1967)

June 30: 3 p.m. “Dial M for Murder” (1954)

July 7: 3 p.m. “Sing-Along Grease” (1978)

July 14: 3 p.m. “All That Jazz” (1979)

July 21: 3 p.m. “Jurassic Park” (1993)

July 28: 3 p.m. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

Aug. 4: 3 p.m. “The Philadelphia Story” (1940)

Aug. 11: 3 p.m. “9 to 5” (1980)

Aug. 18: 3 p.m. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

Aug. 25: 3 p.m. “The Silent Clowns: Comedy Shorts”

Tampa Theatre remains one of the only movie palaces in the world that can revive its original programming and present a silent film with live musical accompaniment on the theatre’s original 1926 Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. Nationally renowned theatre organist Dr. Steven Ball will be traveling down from St. Louis once again for this very special live presentation of a collection of four short comedies featuring some of the silent film era’s most revered wits, including Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy.

Aug. 31-Sept. 1: 3 p.m. “Casablanca” (1942)

Tickets are $10 for regular films and $13 for the Sing-Along and Silent Sundays. Tickets are available at the historic Franklin Street box office, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa, and online at ($2 convenience fee applies).


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