Early this morning, crews started disassembling the 1,410 red seats installed when the City of Tampa rescued Tampa Theatre in the mid ‘70s. Out in the lobby, the 1970s concessions stand was pulled out to make way for the two-story scaffolding that will allow crews to continue the paint and plaster restoration on the historic gargoyles, Spanish tile “rooftops” and starry sky ceiling.

Photos of today’s demolition work: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/916odq4ouf9p5yz/AADpaCNt5266sYPX-DCe2clMa?dl=0

Historic 1926 photos and renderings of the new restoration work: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wg6j17un4l7mnue/AAD3Evc1pDFfI6NbZ_Zo0ffTa?dl=0

Demo Day is the official kick-off to Tampa Theatre’s six-week shutdown, which will wrap up a first phase of restorative work that began more than two years ago with the replacement of the original 2nd- and 3rd-floor windows on the Florida Avenue side of the building. When this $6 million phase is complete, the Theatre will have replaced all of the glass on the Florida Avenue side with storm-rated, energy-efficient panes. The building’s electrical systems and emergency power will be modernized, and new drainage and sump pumps will mitigate water intrusion in the building’s basements.

All of the paint and plaster in the lobby will be repaired and restored to its 1926 color palette, and the concessions stand will be replaced with a less obtrusive, more efficient stand that doesn’t obstruct the amazing architecture behind it. And in the auditorium, the new seats, carpet and main drape have all been designed to mimic the original 1926 look of this majestic movie palace.

The Theatre will reopen at the end of December. In the meantime, our popular Holiday Classics Movie Series will take place as free screenings in Curtis Hixon Park as part of Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Winter Village event.

Those interested in purchasing a commemorative set of the red Theatre seats can contact Larry Schiller of Schiller’s Salvage at (813) 443-4641.

Thank you for sharing this momentous occasion with us, and please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail if there are any further details or images we can provide!