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The interior of the Tampa Theatre has a Mediterranean theme. It’s been nearly a year since it closed to the public because of COVID-19.

TAMPA — Tampa Theatre reopens March 11 for 12 screenings of the new Anthony Hopkins drama “The Father.”

“The date is significant,” the theater said in a news release. “It marks one year to the day that the majestic movie palace hosted its final film before closing in the face of the global pandemic.”

There will be changes to the cinema, it noted. Tickets must be bought online, temperature checks will take place and the 1,200-seat auditorium “will limit capacity to 200 patrons per screening, and elasticized bands around certain chairs will guide guests to socially distanced seating options.”

Those wanting snacks will use the new Noble Concessions App to order and will be notified via the app when the order is ready.

The experience of the theater will include the return of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ.

Steven Ball will be showing off the 96-year-old instrument before each screening.

“Fans will recognize Ball from dozens of silent film presentations over the past decade, and — more recently — two ‘live-streamed silents’ last year. He has recently relocated from St. Louis to Tampa, and looks forward to becoming a more permanent fixture for both artistic and educational programming at the theater.”

Theater President John Bell cautioned fans about the near-term future of the theater.

“Nobody has wanted to get this building back open more than we have,” Bell said. “We are cautiously optimistic that the time is right, but ‘The Father’ will be our test balloon to see whether our audiences are ready to come back. What we see over these two weekends will determine what we do next.”

In the news release, he speculates spring 2022 may be when Tampa Theatre “sees live shows and lectures that made 2018 and 2019 record-breaking years for the nonprofit theater.”

“Since 1926, Tampa Theatre has survived The Great Depression, World War II… and all seven Police Academy movies,” Bell often jokes. “Soon, we’ll be adding ‘a global pandemic’ to that list. And with our 100th anniversary right around the corner, we’re looking forward to getting back to business as usual, and setting up this amazing landmark for its second century.”

Show times for “The Father” are 7:30 p.m., March 11, 12, 18 and 19; 4 p.m and 7:30 p.m., March 13 and 20; and 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., March 14 and 21.

Tampa Theatre is at 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa. For tickets or more information, call 813-274-8981 or visit tampatheatre.org.


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