Tampa Theatre, Tampa FL, ca. 1926
Address: 711 Franklin Street, Tampa, Florida
CinemaTreasures.org ID: 10
One of famous architect John Eberson's landmark atmospheric picture palaces. The interior has touches of Baroque, Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, Greek Revival, Spanish and Meditarranian flavors, making it in fact more of a Florida Mediterranean style than a European one.
Eberson was one of the greatest theatre designers of his time,
and king of the atmospherics, of which the Tampa is a great example. The painted ceilings often featured tiny backlit twinkling stars as well as moving clouds, projected by many projectors. The Tampa theatre not only featured a stuffed peacock, but also live doves flying around the somewhat domed ceiling at one point.
Eberson desiged movie palaces not only in the US, but also in France and Australia. Originally from Australia, he studied in Vienna and settlet in St. Louis. He spent some winters in Florida, and was very inspired by it's colorful and vivid surroundings, which gave him the atmospheric idea.
Although the setting is not exactly the same as the atmospheric Olympia in Miami (which was also designed by Eberson and opened in the same year), the Organ Grill seen here in the postcard, is quite similar.
The theatre opened with the silent film THE ACE OF CADS in late 1926. The Tampa Theatre is still open today showing classic films and live performances. It has seen worse days, the Tampa was closed in 1973, until it was donated to the city (or acquired by) in 1976 and renovated.
On a less lighter note, the theater is known to be haunted by a ghost projectionist!
Postcard ©Hillsboro News Co., Tampa, Fla.
Visit the theatre's website at www.tampatheatre.org/